Significant Cases

Through the years, our attorneys have been involved in numerous significant cases. These cases involve substantial recoveries for our client as well as, on occasion, establishing new law, which still stands today. The following is a sampling of some of our significant cases:

A. Personal Injury

  1. Southern American Insurance Company v. Dobson

    This was a landmark case which established that uninsured motorist coverage would be imposed on umbrella liability policies, even in the absence of any reference to any uninsured motorist coverage. In this case, the umbrella liability policy was issued by Southern American Insurance Company and contained no mention of uninsured motorist coverage. After successfully securing a favorable ruling in the trial court, the Court of Appeal reversed. The Louisiana Supreme Court granted Dobson's writ and ultimately ruled in favor of our clients on rehearing on the coverage issue. This case was eventually tried and concluded in our client's favor.

    For full details of this case see 441 So. 2d 1185 (La. Sup. Ct.) and 484 So. 2d 976

  2. Merrell v. State of Louisiana, Department of Transportation and Development

    This case was one of the early cases involving defective roads and road shoulders. Our client, following the "fog line" on the right side of the lane, ran into an eroded area of the highway causing him to lose control and veer into the oncoming lane. In the era when contributory negligence was a complete bar to recovery in Louisiana, we successfully represented our client and obtained a judgment which was affirmed in the Court of Appeal.

    For full details of this case, see 415 So. 2d 660

  3. John Doe v. State of Louisiana, Department of Transportation and Development

    Returning from a Thanksgiving family gathering, our clients were struck head on by an oncoming motorist who had left the highway surface and struck a rut on the shoulder of the road causing them to lose control and then veering back across into our clients' lane of travel. The injuries included the death of one individual together with serious injuries to another passenger. After discovery, we obtained a favorable settlement for the family members.

  4. Layssard v. State of Louisiana, Department of Transportation and Development

    Jury verdict rendered in our clients' favor and later affirmed by the Court of Appeal in a suit where a Department of Public Safety vehicle was passing our client, who was making a left turn into a private drive. The jury imposed no comparative fault on our left-turning motorist client.

    For full details of this case, see 963 So. 2d 1053

B. Business Litigation

  1. Celles Enterprises, Inc. v. Peoples Bank & Trust Company

    Represented Peoples Bank and Trust Company, which had been cast in judgment for $250,000.00 in damages for wrongful foreclosure, in a suit brought by lessees of the Bank's creditor contending that the foreclosure was wrongful and improper. We obtained a reversal of the trial court judgment in the Court of Appeal. Ultimately, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted writs and affirmed, completely absolving our client of any wrongdoing.

    For full details of this case, see 437 So. 2d 1114

  2. Peoples State Bank v. Highway 1 Crawfish

    In this case, we represented a small business against a foreclosing bank. We successfully established that the Bank had violated its customer's rights by foreclosing on corporate assets as well as the assets of individual guarantors. After the Louisiana Third Circuit affirmed the preliminary ruling on the wrongful actions of Peoples State Bank, the case was settled on the day of trial.

    For details involving the liability phase of the case, see 771 So. 2d 101

  3. Matt v. AGRO Distribution, LLC

    Our firm represented two family farmers who had been sold defective seed corn by AGRO Distribution, LLC, corn that had been manufactured and produced by Land O' Lakes, Inc. We alleged that the seed corn was of inferior quality and therefore defective. Our clients suffered substantial losses to their production and, because of inability to generate normal funds from their crop production, were unable to farm for the next year. The jury returned an award in favor of our client, including an award of consequential damages.

    For details involving the liability phase of the case, see 904 So. 2d 928

C. Medical Malpractice

  1. We represented the mother and father in a wrongful death claim of their 16 year old son, who died due to an untreated bowel obstruction. After a unanimous adverse Louisiana Medical Review Panel decision, we obtained a favorable settlement for our client shortly before trial.

D. Miscellaneous Litigation

  1. LaCaze v. State of Louisiana

    In a case which, to our knowledge, is unique, we represented an individual who asserted that employees of the State of Louisiana who were functioning as land agents acquiring property for Interstate 49 defrauded and lied to him in order to obtain his signature on a Deed conveying to the State property for the I-49 right of way. We successfully handled his case, and obtained a rescission of the Deed, thereby vesting our client with ownership of approximately 1/4 of a mile of federal Interstate 49 in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. The property was thereafter subsequently re-expropriated by the State for a sum in excess of the original offers to acquire the property.

    For full details of this case, see 541 So. 2d 322

  2. Holliday v. Holliday

    We successfully represented a wife who had entered into a prenuptial agreement with her husband and as a component thereof had waived her right to alimony pendent lite, or temporary spousal support. The Supreme Court, in a case to first impression of this issue, declared that alimony pendent lite was a non-waivable component of the marriage relationship, reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal and rendering a favorable judgment for our client.

E. Maritime/Admiralty Litigation

  1. Bridges v. Marine Drilling, Inc.

    Our client was a worker on an offshore rig who was injured, specifically suffering a ruptured intervertebral disc, while assisting in the unloading of a wireline unit from a vessel. The unloading process was being conducted in high seas and bad weather. A bifurcated trial was conducted and after a ruling of 100% liability was imposed on the defendant, we obtained a favorable settlement for our client.

  2. Johnson v. Tidewater Marine

    In this case, we represented a seaman who was attempting to secure a life boat in inclement weather on a vessel of his employer, Tidewater Marine. At trial, the court found both that the vessel was unseaworthy as well as Jones Act negligence on the part of the defendants. We obtained a favorable settlement for our client after judgment.

  3. Lewing v. Zapata Offshore, Inc.

    In this case, we represented an offshore worker who was a Jones Act seaman. His foot was crushed by a huge spool of wire during drilling operations. After preliminary discovery, and shortly before deposing the defendant's doctor, a confidential settlement was reached on behalf of our client.