On April 16, 2020, the firm’s Mississippi attorneys successfully secured summary judgment in favor of a local restaurant. The plaintiff alleged an allergic reaction to tacos while dining out. Her first known medical treatment occurred one month later when she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids which she claimed was related to her allergic reaction. The plaintiff sought over $130,000 in special damages. During discovery, the plaintiff admitted she had no evidence the tacos she ate contained alleged allergens and she had no proof her fibroids were causally related. Thus, the firm’s motion for summary judgment was granted.
TWPD’s Mississippi attorneys won a critical motion for summary judgment for the firm’s client, a construction surety company. The surety sued its principal, a roofing subcontractor, for indemnity under performance and payment bonds which the surety was called upon to pay on behalf of the subcontractor. The subcontractor counterclaimed and alleged bad faith in the surety’s investigation and payment of the bond claims.
The surety prevailed on its claim for indemnity and in defeating the counterclaim through summary judgment as well. TWPD’s client obtained a $500,000 judgment and has applied for an additional $128,000 in attorney’s fees. The U.S. District Court also granted the surety’s Daubert motion to exclude the subcontractor’s bad faith expert, knocking him of the expert witness business. The surety’s CEO sent a memo to all of its subsidiaries nationwide applauding TWPD for its excellent work and successful outcome.
In March of 2020, the firm successfully defeated a bad faith claim at the trial level and before Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal. After suit was filed, the plaintiff attempted to amend his petition and assert a bad faith claim against our client under La. R.S. 22:1982 and 22:1973. The firm moved to strike the amended petition on the grounds it was filed without reasonable grounds. The trial court agreed and granted the motion to strike which was also upheld on appeal.
Mississippi’s legislature recently enacted legislation addressing landowner liability for intentional torts of third parties on their premises. Under the old law, a person injured by a third party could sue the landowner if the owner had actual or constructive knowledge: 1) of the assailant’s violent nature; or 2) that an atmosphere of violence existed on the premises. The landowner was not permitted to apportion fault against the third-party assailant.
Under the new law, a plaintiff must prove: 1) that similar violent conduct occurred on the property three or more times within three years prior to the incident; 2) the three separate events must have resulted in three or more felony arraignments of the perpetrator; 3) the landowner must of had actual knowledge of the perpetrator’s violent nature; and 4) the jury can approption fault between the landowner and the perpetrator of the violent act.
The success we have seen is because of the way we built our practice. It’s about more than routine strategies. It’s about creative resolutions to difficult legal questions. It’s about how we treat our clients and each other and how we work together to build the best possible defense for every single case. It's practice, made perfect.