Articles Posted in Litigation

skeleton_bone_medical_doctor-1024x768The case of Danell Brice, a home health nurse who was attacked while visiting Timothy Bragg’s apartment, highlights the complex legal issues surrounding the duty of care owed by healthcare professionals in situations involving potential harm to third parties. Brice filed a lawsuit against Dr. Lynn Simon, Braggs’ treating psychiatrist, and Dr. Vasanthi Vinayagam, who provided medical treatment to Braggs. The central dispute revolves around whether the doctors had a duty to warn Brice about Braggs’ changed medication and potential for violence. This article examines the court’s ruling on the motion for summary judgment and the application of relevant statutes in determining the doctors’ liability.

While visiting Bragg’s apartment, Danell Brice, a home health nurse, was attacked by Braggs. Braggs was admitted to Serenity Community Mental Health Center, an outpatient partial-day program for psychiatric patients. Braggs had paranoid schizophrenia and benign hypertension and was considered “poorly integrated.” When Brice was taking Bragg’s blood pressure in his apartment, he made sexual advances toward her. When Brice attempted to leave the apartment, Braggs shoved her into a corner by the door. However, she managed to push Braggs away and leave his apartment. Brice said that she sustained injuries when she pushed Braggs away from her.

Brice sued Dr. Lynn Simon, Braggs’ treating psychiatrist at Serenity, and Dr. Vasanthi Vinayagam, who treated Braggs for minor medical conditions at Serenity. Brice alleged that both doctors failed to warn her that Braggs’ medication was changed, failed to provide her with adequate security when treating Braggs, failed to protect her from a predicable assault, and breached their standard of care.

green_mold_harmful_mold-1024x768A pre-existing illness requiring time off is difficult, especially if one believes the work environment is worsening the condition. However, proving the environment is the cause of the worsening condition is difficult to do. So, how can a pre-existing illness affect a worker’s compensation claim? What happens if you cannot prove a causal link between a work environment and a worsening condition? The following Louisiana Court of Appeals case helps answer these questions. 

Amy Duplechin was a teacher at St. Landry Parish School beginning in 2000. She suffered from a respiratory condition causing several absences from work. After a semester-long sabbatical, Duplechin claimed her condition worsened due to alleged exposure to mold in her classroom. She claimed she found mold on the back of a bookshelf and growth along the air conditioner’s side. 

According to the School Board, the mold was cleaned by Duplechin and the custodial staff, and she was moved to a new classroom. Duplechin claimed the School Board failed to pay indemnity benefits and medical benefits timely and sought payment of penalties and attorney fees. Still, the workers’ compensation judge decided the law favored the School Board. 

american_bank_banking_banknote_0-1024x683When terminating employment in Louisiana, it is crucial to understand the laws governing the timely payment of owed wages. However, a question arises when an employee fails to explicitly state “discharged” or “resigned” in their petition. Kevion Dillon found herself in such a situation after experiencing harassment and discrimination that led her to resign from her position. Despite not using specific terminology, she sought to receive her final wages within the 15 days mandated by Louisiana law. This case sheds light on the importance of legal guidance to navigate the complexities of claiming unpaid wages and exercising one’s rights when facing employment challenges.

Kevin Dillon worked at Babies R US, which Toys R Us owned. After she resigned due to the alleged harassment and discrimination she suffered from, Dillon filed a lawsuit under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, La. R.S. 23:301. She also brought other claims against Toys R Us, including alleging Toys R Us had violated La. R.S. 23:631 and 632, the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, by not timely paying her final wages within the 15 days required under the statute. 

Dillon then filed a Rule to Show Cause related to her Louisiana Wage Payment Act claims. In response, Toys R US filed an exception of no cause of action, which the trial court granted and dismissed Dillon’s wage claims. The trial court explained there was no legal remedy available to Dillon because she did not use the words “discharged” or “resigned” in her petition. Dillon then appealed, arguing her petition properly asserted a cause of action under the Louisiana Wage Payment Act. 

leon_congress_parliament_180330-768x1024Dreaming of your day in court? Understanding the crucial elements necessary to succeed in your claim is essential. When pursuing a negligence lawsuit, one of the most challenging elements to establish is proving that the other party caused your injuries. Failure to provide sufficient evidence demonstrating a factual dispute regarding the cause of your injuries may lead to the dismissal of your lawsuit at the summary judgment stage, even before stepping foot in a courtroom. This case highlights the significance of meeting the burden of proof on causation and the potential consequences of failing to do so.

Jerome Mackey fractured his clavicle and injured his hand when he fell off the roof of Ronald and Kim Thompson’s house while climbing down a ladder Ronald Thompson had provided him. The Thompsons had hired Mackey earlier in the day to put a new roof on their house. Mackey filed a lawsuit against the Thompsons. 

The Thompsons filed a summary judgment motion, arguing Mackey had no evidence establishing they had caused his accident. The Thompsons provided deposition testimony from Mackey and an individual working with Mackey but not involved in the lawsuit. The Thompsons claimed this deposition testimony established Mackey and the uninvolved individual were responsible for Mackey’s fall. To counter this evidence, Mackey also provided deposition testimony and an affidavit from a contractor hired to inspect and photograph the ladder and roof following the accident. The trial court granted the Thompsons’ summary judgment motion and dismissed the case. Mackey appealed. 

computer_computers_1245714-1024x680Domestic violence affects countless individuals, and while physical harm may be the most obvious form of abuse, technology has expanded the range of abuses victims endure. Filing for a protective order is one action victims can take to address domestic violence. This case delves into whether cyberstalking qualifies as domestic abuse to obtain a protective order, highlighting how the law adapts to address technological advancements and protect victims.

Alicia Shaw and Melvin Young lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. After they had been married for just over a year, Shaw filed for a protective order under the Louisiana Domestic Abuse Assistance Law, La. R.S. 46:2131. She alleged that Young had punched, shoved, and threatened her with bodily harm. The trial court entered an Order of Protection. 

A few months later, Young filed for divorce on fault under La. C.C. art. 103. Shaw also sought a permanent protective order against Young. In support, Shaw testified that Young posted messages threatening to provide private photos of her to others. She also claimed that Young sent her friends messages saying “bad things” about her. Young also made posts on Facebook claiming she had broken into his home and accusing her of abusing the immigration system. She explained that as a result, she constantly feared Young, lost her hair and became isolated. After a trial, the court entered a judgment granting the divorce and granting Shaw a permanent protective order against Young. Young appealed. 

medical_care_medicine_health-1024x683When pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Louisiana, adhering to the necessary procedural requirements is crucial for a successful case. Failure to comply with statutory obligations can lead to legal battles centered around procedural technicalities rather than the merits of the claim.

That is the situation Lori Franks found herself in after she sent a letter to the Division of Administration at the Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund Oversight Board (“PCF”) requesting a medical review panel. Franks sought review related to the medical care provided by Dr. Charlotte Hollman and a nurse practitioner, Deborah Gahagan, to her two minor twin sons, A.F. and C.F. She included a payment of $200 for the filing fee, which is $100 per defendant under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, La. R.S. 40:1231.8

The PCF assigned two file numbers to the request, one for each of the twin son’s claims. It allocated the entire $200 payment to A.F.’s filing fee. PCF then mailed a letter to Frank acknowledging they had received her claim and to go ahead with appointing an attorney chairman. PCF sent a separate letter the same day that only referenced C.F.’s claim and told Franks that she needed to pay a $200 filing fee for the claim within forty-five days. After PCF did not receive any additional funds within the forty-five-day period, PCF sent her a letter stating C.F.’s claim was invalid because the period for paying the filing fee had expired. 

audience_speech_speaker_1677028-1024x768The diverse range of viewpoints expressed at city council meetings often evokes mixed reactions from attendees. While some voices may test our patience, it is crucial to recognize that the First Amendment safeguards individuals’ freedom of speech during such gatherings. A case involving Tom Heaney’s experience at a Jefferson Parish city council meeting in Gretna, Louisiana, sheds light on the constitutional rights protected in these limited public forums. The subsequent legal proceedings provide valuable insights into the requirements for successfully pursuing a First Amendment claim related to alleged silencing in such settings.

Tom Heaney registered to speak at a Jefferson Parish city council meeting in Gretna, Louisiana. The city council rules allowed registered individuals to speak for five minutes. After Heaney had spoken for approximately three minutes, the presiding official, Christopher Roberts, interrupted him and asked him if he would yield to the Jefferson Parish attorney. Heaney thought he would get the remaining two minutes back after the attorney spoke because that happened with the prior speaker who yielded. However, after a heated back-and-forth between Heaney and Roberts, Roberts asked for Heaney to be removed. 

A police officer, Ronald Black, responded to the request to remove Heaney. Heaney then filed a lawsuit, claiming that Roberts and Black had violated his constitutional rights, including the First Amendment, and that Black had also committed various torts. The defendants filed motions for summary judgment. The trial court denied Roberts’ summary judgment motions concerning the First Amendment claim but granted Black’s motion on the First Amendment claim. Comparing these two outcomes provides insight into the requirements to succeed on a First Amendment claim involving purported silencing in a limited public forum.

police_policemen_guards_security-1024x702In an era where workplace equality and fairness have gained significant prominence, it is crucial to be aware of the robust safeguards provided by federal law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act serves as a formidable shield, offering protection to employees who have experienced retaliation or discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, and more. While many individuals may be unaware of their rights, understanding the scope and power of Title VII is essential for fostering a work environment free from bias and ensuring that justice prevails

Many people are unaware that federal law protects them from retaliation that results from them filing a lawsuit against their employer under Title VII. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000–3(a). Even if you are not fired, you might still be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer if you suffer other adverse actions, such as being denied a promotion. However, there are strict requirements that must be met to succeed in such a claim. 

Edward Smith was a security guard for G4S Secure Solutions (“G4S”) and worked at the Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Several years before the instant lawsuit, he filed an EEOC charge against G4S’s predecessor claiming discrimination in an unrelated event.  Approximately six years later, Smith was denied a promotion to become a Custom Protection Officer. 

vessels_beach_brazil_pier-1024x768Within the intricate realm of maritime law, determining liability can be challenging, especially when it comes to assessing the responsibility of ship owners for open and obvious risks. Such complexities become particularly evident when adverse weather conditions come into play. In this context, we delve into the case of Robert dePerrodil, an oil field consultant, and his encounter with the M/V Thunderstar. 

As we explore the legal intricacies surrounding his injuries and subsequent compensation, we shed light on the duty of care owed by ship owners, the notion of open and obvious risks, and the calculation of damages. Join us as we unravel the multifaceted aspects of maritime liability and its impact on the lives of those involved.

Robert dePerrodil was an oil field consultant who worked for Petroleum Engineers, Inc. (“PEI”). PEI charted the M/V Thunderstar to transport dePerrodil from Venice, Louisana, to the offshore platform where he was to work as a consultant. Bozovic Marine, Inc. owned and operated the M/V Thunderstar. The captain of the boat was Captain Bozovic. 

vessel_twin_masted_ship-1024x683An injury can happen in the most unlikely of situations, and although it may seem minor at the moment, it can create lifelong physical ailments. When this unfortunate situation occurs, you deserve to be properly compensated, regardless of any pre-existing conditions you may have. The following lawsuit shows how an excellent attorney can assist you in doing so. 

Ricky Koch was working as a foreman for Economy Iron Works aboard the United States-owned vessel S.S. Altair. He was participating in a “walkthrough” to potentially submit a bid for his employer on areas of the vessel needing repair. During the walkthrough, the group encountered a stairwell. The chief engineer who was leading the tour flipped a light switch, but it only partially illuminated the stairwell. As Koch descended in the darkness, he missed a step and fell backward, hitting his head, neck, and shoulders on the stairs. Upon returning to his office that same day, he completed an accident report and was driven home by a colleague where his wife found him immobile on a recliner. 

Koch could not work after the incident, with severe pain in his knees, neck, and back. He ultimately saw an orthopedic surgeon who concluded the incident exacerbated his preexisting osteoarthritic conditions and caused the need for bilateral knee replacements. Koch also saw a neurosurgeon who opined he had herniated his C6-7 disc as a result of the incident and subsequently performed cervical spine surgery. However, after the surgery, he had complications, including carpal tunnel in his hands, which the neurosurgeon noted were associated with and worsened by Koch’s neck problems. Because of his injuries, Koch underwent a right total knee replacement and had one scheduled for the other knee once he was fully recovered. 

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