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- 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 welcomes Michael M. Thompson to the firm. Michael joins TWPD’s Baton Rouge office with a practice focused on casualty litigation defense.
- TWPD’s Mississippi office has moved. The new address is 100 Webster Circle, Suite 104, Madison, Mississippi 39110. The phone number is 769-300-2988. The facsimile number is 769-300-2145.
- TWPD successfully obtained summary dismissal of a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) coverage filed at the 18th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Point Coupee, Louisiana. Plaintiff appealed the summary judgment ruling to the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, seeking a reversal based on statutory interpretation of Louisiana’s UM statute. Plaintiff argued the insured’s rejection of UM coverage from a previous year did not remain valid on renewal, because the renewal was written to additional named insureds. TWPD distinguished plaintiff’s legal arguments and submitted deposition testimony to demonstrate the insured’s clear intent and desire to reject UM coverage in compliance with Louisiana law. As such, the First Circuit affirmed the summary dismissal. Loudermilk v. Nat'l Gen. Assurance Co., 2014-1692 (La. App. 1 Cir. 12/23/15), 2015 WL 9435839.
- 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.
- The Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, granted summary judgment in favor of TWPD’s client on a property damage claim. The plaintiff alleged that her building sustained water damage due to defects in the adjacent building, and produced documents that she argued showed that our client owned the property. We successfully argued that our client did not have any ownership interest and therefore could not be liable for any damage to the plaintiff’s building under any theory asserted by the plaintiff.
- TWPD won the dismissal of claims brought by a plaintiff who was assaulted by a third-party on premises owned by a client of TWPD in Claiborne County, Mississippi. TWPD argued that there was no evidence that the owner had knowledge of an atmosphere of violence or of the assailant’s violent nature. The plaintiff attempted to argue that a security guard was an agent of the owner whose knowledge could be imputed to the owner, but the Circuit Court was persuaded to grant summary judgment on behalf of the owner.
- TWPD welcomes Jamie Pounders to the firm. Jamie joins TWPD with a practice focused on general liability, insurance defense and coverage.
- Jill Miller and Jennifer O’Connell were invited to be new members of the Wex Malone American Inn of Court.
- TWPD would like to congratulate Paul Laborde, Ryan Zumo and Lyle Robinson for becoming partners in the firm.
- TWPD celebrates its 20th anniversary in November of 2015! TWPD would like to thank all of our staff, lawyers, and clients who have made 20 years possible! Thank you for your collective hard work and support!
- The Louisiana Supreme Court adopted a bright-line rule, holding that the collateral source doctrine does not apply to attorney-negotiated medical discounts obtained though the litigation process. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that "allowing the plaintiff to recover an amount for which he has not paid, and for which he has no obligation to pay, is at cross purposes with the basic principles of tort recovery in our Civil Code." This reasoning may open the door for defendants to argue that the collateral source rule does not apply to any discounted medical expenses. Indeed, in reaching their decision, the Court cited to a California opinion which held that the collateral source rule does not apply to discounted medical bills.
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st Century North American Ins. Co.
- Scott Rainwater, Jason Bone, and Jon Womack named to 2016 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.
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