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- TWPD’s summary judgment was affirmed by Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeals, dismissing a premises liability suit against a condominium complex. The plaintiff filed suit for personal injuries when the vanity chair in her suite collapsed beneath her while she was applying her makeup. Upon turning the chair over after the incident, the plaintiff noticed two screws were missing from the metal bracing. The plaintiff argued that the condominium management company knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the unreasonable condition created by the missing screws. In affirming summary judgment, the appellate court agreed with the trial court and concluded that the condominium’s cleaning procedures were sufficient to satisfy their duty to exercise reasonable care and that the plaintiff did not satisfy her burden in proving that the purported defect was known or should have been known by the defendants.
Alvarado v. Lodge at the Bluffs, LLC 2016-CA-0624 (La. App. 1 Cir. 3/29/2017).
- TWPD obtained summary judgment in federal court in Mississippi dismissing a premises liability suit against a retail store. The plaintiff cut his hand on merchandise that he alleged was kept in an unreasonably dangerous condition. In addition to seeking medical expenses, he argued that he sustained a substantial loss of wage earning capacity due to nerve damage. After obtaining favorable discovery and deposition testimony from the plaintiff, TWPD moved for summary judgment. In granting summary judgment, the court agreed with TWPD’s arguments and ruled that the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to show that the merchandise constituted a dangerous condition. This ruling underscores the law that a premises owner is not an insurer of a patron’s safety. Levin v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, 1:16-cv-110 (S.D. Miss. Jan. 20, 2017).
- TWPD is proud to announce that Jared Davidson, Adam deMahy, David Harpole, and Michelle Maraist were selected to become Partners with the firm.
- Scott Rainwater and Jared Davidson were named to the 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Scott Rainwater was recognized for his defense of personal injuries, and Jared Davidson was honored for his insurance coverage practice.
- November 2016 – TWPD obtained summary judgment in Federal Court dismissing independent negligence claims against motor coach carrier where it was undisputed that employee was in the course and scope of employment. In granting summary judgment, the court accepted arguments raised by TWPD to create a bright line rule that regards when an independent negligence claim against an employer is viable and when it is not. The decision represents a landmark victory for businesses in Louisiana where plaintiffs are increasingly asserting independent negligence claims against companies in an effort to garner higher damage awards. This decision significantly limits the scenarios where the plaintiffs can assert such claims. See Dennis v. Collins, 15-cv-2410 (W.D. La. 11/9/16); 2016 WL 6637937.
- Jen O’Connell, an associate in TWPD’s Baton Rouge office, was recognized by the Baton Rouge Bar Association in the Member Spotlight which also noted her volunteer contributions to the Baton Rouge community.
- TWPD welcomes Matt Moghis to the firm. Matt joins TWPD’s New Orleans office with a practice focused on casualty litigation defense.
- Louisiana Workers' Comp Update: The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal sitting in Baton Rouge recently held that prescription medication is not governed by the Medical Treatment Guidelines.
- The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld the restrictive venue provision of the Louisiana Direct Action Statute. TWPD represented an insurer and successfully obtained a ruling that the limited venue provisions of the Direct Action Statute apply to claims against insurers, as opposed to the broader venue provisions of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure. The Fourth Circuit further held that the 1989 amendment to the venue provision of the Direct Action Statute was a procedural and interpretive change that applies to suits filed after the effective date of the amendment, even if the cause of action accrued prior to the amendment. Blow v. OneBeacon America Ins. Co., No. 2016-301 (La. App. 4 Cir. 4/20/2016).
- TWPD secured the dismissal of a truck-driver’s claim for benefits under the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act. The claim proceeded to a compensability hearing and we argued that the claimant was not entitled to benefits because he was an independent contractor and that, regardless of the claimant’s status, he was not entitled to benefits because he had elected coverage under a private Occupational Accident Policy. The Administrative Judge ruled that both theories argued by TWPD were independently sufficient grounds for dismissal.
- Jill Miller and Jennifer O’Connell were invited to be new members of the Wex Malone American Inn of Court.
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