Burglass & Tankersley represented the State of Louisiana at the request of Attorney General as referenced in the below press release. Click here to read the opinion.
Friday January 27, 2012
Burglass & Tankersley successfully represents the State of Louisiana as amicus curiae before the Louisiana Supreme Court
Burglass & Tankersley submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the State of Louisiana in Arlene Chambers v. Village of Moreauville, 2011-898 (La. 1/24/12). The case involved a strict liability claim brought against the Village of Moreauville wherein the plaintiff fell on a sidewalk containing a deviation of less than one and a half inches. The trial court found that the minor deviation in the sidewalk constituted an unreasonably dangerous condition and entered judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $350,000. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed.
Burglass & Tankersley filed the amicus brief in support of Moreauville’s argument that the lower courts applied incorrect principles of law in finding liability, emphasizing the significant interest the State had in seeing that Louisiana courts applied the correct principles governing strict liability law for claims against public entities. The analysis used by the lower courts placed an unreasonable and economically impossible burden on the State given the countless sidewalks, roads, public ways, etc. under its care, custody and control. Following oral argument and consideration of the Moreauville and State briefs, the Court reversed the lower courts judgment in its entirely.
The Supreme Court’s ruling is significant in that it constitutes the latest in a line of cases over the past several years that tighten and narrow the requirements for holding the State and its municipalities strictly liable for minor defects and imperfections existing in their public infrastructure. For more information, please contact Dennis Phayer at 504-836-2220.