Articles Posted in Civil Matter

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. 

casino_game_play_argentina-1024x683Business trips can provide opportunities for networking and leisure, but unexpected injuries can turn the experience into a nightmare. One such example is the case of Jonathan Peters, who attended a business convention in New Orleans and stayed at Harrah’s Hotel.

Peters visited New Orleans for a business convention and stayed at Harrah’s Hotel. Around midnight, Peters exited the hotel to get something to eat. Peters walked on the hotel’s brick sidewalk as it was raining. When he began to slip, he moved to step on a hose to prevent himself from falling, yet he slipped and broke his wrist. After the fall, Peters underwent surgery at Tulane Medical Hospital, but this procedure did not rehabilitate him. Peters alleged he permanently lost the range of motion in his wrist.

Peters sued Jazz Casino and JCC Fulton Development, L.L.C. (“Jazz Casino”), the owners and operators of the hotel. Jazz Casino asked the lawsuit to be placed in the federal district court and filed a motion for summary judgment. The motion for summary judgment was granted. Unhappy with that decision, Peters appealed.

Accidents happen daily, and when they do, they can be overwhelming and stressful. If you’ve been in an accident and filed a claim for damages, but it gets dismissed due to the granting of a motion for summary judgment in favor of the defendants, you may feel like there’s no hope. However, this is not the end of the matter. The trial court’s decision can be appealed, and the appellate court will review the decision to ensure whether the motion was properly granted. The following lawsuit shows how the appeals process can alter a trial court’s decision.

Stephen Ledet and his young son were sailing on a 16-foot recreational boat (“Ledet vessel”) being operated by Stephen’s brother, Kent Ledet. They were sailing on the Intracoastal Waterway near Berwick, Louisiana. The M/V Miss Cissy (“Miss Cissy”), a 46.5-foot commercial vessel owned by Parker Drilling Offshore USA, LLC (“PDO”), was sailing on the waterway at the same time ahead of them. Its employee, Captain Richard Rowe (“Rowe”), operated it. 

Kent Ledet could see the ship approximately 200 yards away as the weather was sunny and clear. However, Miss Cissy was traveling much slower than the Ledet’s vessel. The Ledet’s vessel eventually caught up to Miss Cissy’s rear. Miss Cissy then suddenly accelerated its engine and created large swells and wakes. Kent Ledet was unable to avoid the large wakes. The boat tossed and slammed against the water, and the whole family sustained alleged physical and mental injuries. 

transport_roadworks_autobahn_837813-1024x768In the aftermath of a tragic situation, such as the death of a child, the last thing you might want to consider are insurance policies and legal requirements. However, it is essential to understand how courts determine whether an individual was covered by a specific insurance policy so that you know who might be liable for your losses. This is especially important when the accident involves a vehicle used both commercially and personally. 

Jamie and Ericka Myers found themselves in a tragic situation after Brad Welch hit and killed their six-year-old son, Tyler, as Welch was turning into his house’s driveway. The Myers filed a lawsuit against Welch, his employer, Valentine & Leblanc, and Security National Insurance. Valentine & Leblanc insured the car that hit Myers’ son, although Welch owned the vehicle personally.  

The Myers brought claims for themselves, their deceased son, and their twelve-year-old son Peyton. After a successful mediation, the court dismissed the claims against Welch, Valentine & Leblanc, and Security National Insurance. The Myers added AIG Specialty Insurance Company as a defendant as Valentine & Leblanc had a commercial umbrella liability insurance policy from them. AIG Specialty Insurance Company then filed a summary judgment motion, arguing that Welch was not in the course or scope of his employment with Valentine & Leblanc when the accident occurred and therefore was not covered by the at-issue insurance policies. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of AIG Specialty Insurance Company, holding that Welch was not an “additional insured” under the at-issue insurance policy. 

accident_car_accident_crash-1024x768If an individual suffers from chronic pain or a preexisting injury, it may be challenging to prove additional injury due to a car accident. Proving these additional injuries, however, is crucial for collecting damages or compensation for medical bills following the accident. The following Lafayette Parish case shows how a plaintiff may prove a causal link between the car accident and their injuries. 

This case concerns a motor vehicle accident between Traci Herbert and Brian Meaux. The accident occurred when Herbert made a wide right turn into a parking spot, and Meaux, who was driving a company vehicle for Barry’s Air Conditioning, wrongly assumed she was turning left. Meaux then attempted to pass Herbert on the right when the two cars collided.

At the scene of the accident, Herbert reported to the responding officer that the accident caused her to hit her head. She later testified that she suffered from a headache and neck and back pain as a result of the accident. The day after the accident, Herbert visited her chiropractor, Dr. Tiffany Pratt, who testified that her various injuries were caused by the accident and further required a course of treatment lasting nearly four years, including a referral to a neurologist.

nuclear_waste_radioactive_trash-1024x529Exposure to naturally occurring radioactive materials generally increases due to human activity. Proving harm from these activities may be difficult, however. The following Jefferson Parish case demonstrates the need for substantiating your injury claim with evidence. It further shows the weight a court may place on expert witnesses.   

In this case, over 1,100 individuals, referred to as the “Dottie Adams” plaintiffs, filed a petition together stating they were either directly or indirectly harmed by exposure to radioactive material caused by Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mobil Exploration, and Producing North America, Inc. (“Exxon”), and Shell Oil Company, Shell Offshore, Inc., SWEPI LP, ConocoPhillips Company, and Alpha Technical Services, Inc. (“Shell”). The Dottie Adams plaintiffs all lived, or currently live, in Harvey or worked near the contaminated Grefer Tract, a 33-acre industrial tract in Harvey.  

After years of litigation, Exxon filed motions for summary judgment alleging that several of the Dottie Adams plaintiffs could not substantiate their claim that they or their property were exposed to radioactive material above naturally occurring background levels. In their motions, Exxon included an affidavit from its expert health physicist, who stated, in part, that it was more likely than not the plaintiffs’ properties were not impacted by the naturally occurring radioactive material from the operations occurring in the Grefer Tract. 

Have you ever wondered what happens when things go wrong on a construction project? A recent case out of Louisiana sheds light on the complicated legal battles that can ensue when construction defects are discovered. The case highlights the importance of understanding your legal rights and options when dealing with construction disputes and the need for skilled legal representation to navigate the complex world of construction law.

The owner of multiple oyster leases, Wade White, filed a lawsuit against Cox Operating, LLC, seeking damages for the harm caused to his oyster beds during Cox’s drilling of oil wells. In 2000, Cox entered into an agreement with White when it began drilling wells near some of his oyster leases. Cox negotiated another drilling release with White in 2012 when it sought to drill more wells near his leases. However, White discovered that Cox had driven pilings into his oyster leases and was using routes that differed from the agreed-upon routes. As a result, Cox removed the pilings and continued to follow the previous routes. Cox later claimed the executed drilling releases covered any damages caused by the pilings and extra water traffic.

White then filed a lawsuit against Cox due to the pilings, and Cox filed an exception of res judicata, arguing the written releases barred the plaintiff’s suit. If someone wants to use the res judicata defense in a lawsuit, they need to prove it is true using evidence that shows it’s more likely than not true. Then, at the trial, they can bring in more evidence to support their argument as long as the reasons for using that evidence were already brought up before the trial.

interview_paperwork_quill_law-1024x768When you sign a settlement agreement and release, it is easy to assume you waived all rights to sue over the incident that led to the agreement. However, there are certain circumstances where you should have been provided with relevant information at the time of signing. Therefore, it is crucial to understand your rights and the terms of any agreement. Consulting with a qualified attorney can ensure you are fully informed before signing.

Russell Charles was driving a vehicle while pulling a trailer on I-10 in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. A Dodge Ram truck driven by Mark Moore hit Charles from behind. Moore owned the Dodge Ram truck through his company, Moore Leasing, LLC, which State Farm insured. After the accident, Moore signed an affidavit stating that he was not working at the time of the accident and that only the State Farm insurance policy would provide coverage to Charles. In addition, Charles and his wife, Consandra, signed a release against all persons, firms, or corporations who were or might be liable for the accident in exchange for $50,000. 

Later, the Charleses filed a lawsuit against three companies owned by Moore and his wife, claiming that Moore had been working at the time of the accident, which would make the corporations vicariously liable. The company’s insurer was later added as a defendant. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Moore had not been working at the time of the accident and that the previous release prevented this lawsuit. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed Charleses’ claims, but they appealed the decision.

medical_ultrasound_monitor_doctor-768x1024When you go to the doctor, you expect they will help you feel better. However, if your doctor worsens your condition, it is essential to understand the legal requirements for bringing a medical malpractice claim. Otherwise, you find yourself unable to recover.

Milton Harris visited Dr. Breaud, an ophthalmologist, after experiencing difficulties with his vision. Breaud performed multiple procedures on Harris, including laser procedures and surgeries. Unfortunately, following a surgical vitrectomy, Harris suffered a cardiac arrest and had to be hospitalized in the ICU.

 Just under a year later, Harris requested a Medical Review Panel to evaluate his medical malpractice claim from the treatment his ophthalmologist provided. The panel found there was no evidence that Breaud did not meet the required standard of care and pointed to improvements in Harris’ vision. Harris and his wife then filed a lawsuit against Breaud for medical malpractice and negligence. 

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