All Property owners, renters, and contractors, regardless of size or the number of visitors, are exposed to a premises liability claims, from convenience stores and apartment complexes to restaurants, hotels, and even festival venues. Whether it is a slip and fall accident, an animal attack, faulty elevator or another accident, our attorneys are proactive – immediately analyzing facts and preserving all evidence, including photographs, surveillance, and key witness statements. Our early investigation procedures and timely evaluation techniques minimize the value of any case and lead to cost effective resolution.
Trip and Fall with Spoliation of Evidence Claim: André Gaudin tried a trip and fall case in Orleans Parish. Plaintiff misstepped while exiting one of the bars flanking the carriageway of the historic building housing an iconic New Orleans watering hole. Plaintiff stumbled and struck a brick wall across the carriageway sustaining injuries. At the conclusion of trial, plaintiff’s attorneys asked the jury to enter judgment against our client arguing for liability and proposing damages in excess of $500,000. Plaintiff’s counsel also asserted a claim of spoliation of evidence against the defendants. The jury declined both requests, returning a defense verdict for the defendants. The jury found that plaintiff failed to prove the existence of a defective condition that caused or contributed to plaintiffs fall, and the spoliation claim was rejected.
Antique Elevator Case: Motion for Summary Judgment filed by firm attorney convinced the plaintiff to immediately voluntarily dismiss her case. The plaintiff claimed that the insured was responsible for the injuries she sustained after stepping into an empty elevator shaft on the insured’s premises. Our Motion for Summary Judgment established that plaintiff was intimately familiar with the manual operation of the antique elevator and that she was responsible for her own injuries.
Slip and Fall with $1.1 Million Demand: In Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, an alleged slip and fall accident in a restaurant was tried to jury over four days. The dispute centered on the purportedly “sweaty” condition of the tiled floors of an 1860’s era New Orleans warehouse building converted to an upscale and popular restaurant. While there was no doubt that plaintiff fell to the floor, knowledge of any condition which could have caused her to fall was specifically denied by the insured, who also generally denied that the tiled floors regularly became slippery due to condensation. Plaintiff claimed she suffered a herniated disc in her neck, rotator cuff tears in both shoulders that required surgery, and depression. Plaintiff incurred medical bills of $180,000, lost wages of $110,000, and asked for a total of $1.1 million dollars in closing argument. The jury returned a unanimous, take-nothing verdict in just over 15 minutes.
Recreational Use Immunity: Firm attorney Bevan W. Sabo secured a summary dismissal of a claim and suit arising out of a fatal All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) accident. The decedent was operating his three-wheel ATV on a private dirt road owned by the firm’s clients and lost control after striking a mound of sand which had been dumped by an 18-wheeler using the private road to access a neighboring truck stop. The decedent’s children filed a wrongful death and survival action naming as defendants the truck stop, the 18-wheeler’s owner/operator, and the firm’s landowner/clients. Pursuing an aggressive and early defense strategy, a Motion for Summary Judgment was filed along with the Answer to the lawsuit, asserting the “Recreational Use Immunity” provided by Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:2791 and 9:2795. Though the hearing on the Motion was delayed by the Court to permit discovery, the Court ultimately ruled in favor of our landowners/clients less than a year after the clients were sued, dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims.