What's New

  • TWPD is proud to congratulate Mark Herbert for being recognized in the 25th edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Construction Law and Construction Litigation.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Derrick A. Jusczak has joined the firm’s New Orleans office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Claire E. Sauls has joined the firm’s Baton Rouge office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Derrick Jusczak has joined the firm’s New Orleans office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Sammie Henry has joined the firm’s Baton Rouge office as Special Counsel.
  • TWPD recently won summary judgment against a plaintiff who alleged negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, and other claims against a roofing company. The plaintiff sought over half a million dollars in damages to a residential structure, based on a roof replacement performed in 2005 and 2006, and subsequent repairs performed at the plaintiff’s request from 2007 through 2012. Plaintiff initially sued his homeowner’s insurer in Louisiana state court. After removal to federal district court, plaintiff added the roofer as a defendant. TWPD first successfully moved to set aside a default judgment against the roofer, and then moved for summary judgment based on Louisiana’s five-year statute of repose for claims involving improvements to immovable (real) property, along with a lack of evidence to back the plaintiff’s fraud claims, which were a transparent effort to evade the statute of repose. After the district court’s denial of a motion for reconsideration, the case is now before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Koerner v Vigilant Insurance Company, USDC, E.D.La., Civil Action No. 16-13319 (Africk, J.)
  • At the 15th JDC in Lafayette, the Court granted TWPD’s motion for summary judgment on a cross-claim against a co- defendant for breach of contract. The plaintiff claimed she was injured on the premises of a hotel, when she was allegedly pinned between elevator doors located inside the hotel lobby. Plaintiff blamed her damages on the negligence of both the hotel and the hotel’s elevator maintenance contractor. A contract existed between the hotel and its elevator maintenance contractor, wherein the hotel agreed to name its contractor as an additional insured under its CGL policy. The hotel failed to procure this insurance for the elevator maintenance contractor, and thus, the liability carrier for the contractor was obligated to provide a defense against plaintiff’s claims. Under Louisiana law, parties who fail to comply with their contractual duty to procure liability insurance for an additional insured have been held responsible for all damages from said breach of contract. TWPD successfully established the insurance carrier’s right of subrogation to bring the claim for breach of contract against the co-defendant hotel (the elevator maintenance contractor was bankrupt and no longer in the suit). TWPD was also successful in proving the hotel’s breach and responsibility for all damages flowing from said breach, including plaintiff’s claim for damages and all attorney’s fees and litigation expenses incurred by the contractor’s insurance carrier in the litigation.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Rachel Kovach and Heidel Schneider have become partners of the firm. Effective January 1st, 2018.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Travis Simmons has joined the firm’s New Orleans office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Chase Gore has joined the firm’s Baton Rouge office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Trenton Ball has joined the firm’s Baton Rouge office as an Associate.
  • TWPD is proud to announce John Guillory has joined the firm’s Baton Rouge office as Special Counsel.
  • TWPD is proud to announce Haley Mathis has joined the firm’s Jackson, Mississippi office as an Associate.
  • Mississippi Workers' Compensation Note: For injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2018, the weekly maximum compensation rate has been raised to $487.04 and the lifetime disability maximum is $219,168.00. Mileage incurred on or after January 1, 2018, should be reimbursed at the rate of $0.545 per mile.
  • Scott Rainwater, Jared Davidson and Caitlin B. Carrigan were named to the 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.
  • TWPD is proud to announce that Mark Herbert has joined the firm’s Mississippi office as a Partner. His practice focuses on commercial and business litigation.
  • TWPD welcomes Caitlin B. Carrigan to the firm. Caitlin is an associate in the New Orleans office, and she is an experienced attorney in the areas of Workers’ Compensation and general liability litigation.
  • 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.
  • 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.