We take a comprehensive approach to litigation which helps all of our clients both prevent and effectively resolve lawsuits. We have a record of success handling cases during the pre-litigation stages but stand ready to litigate – and our opponents know it. We have a proven track record of successes that demonstrate our vigorous advocacy in the courtroom. Our reputation allows us to secure cost-effective settlements and positive verdicts for our clients.
Hurricane Katrina Class Action: The firm was retained by a local Parish to defend multiple (15) class-action litigations pending in several federal and state courts. The cases all arose out of the massive flooding that occurred during Hurricane Katrina, with plaintiffs alleging that the Parish guilty of negligence and willful misconduct on a number of grounds, including in the drafting of an emergency operations plan calling for the evacuation of drainage pump operators in face of catastrophic hurricane (Cat 4 or 5). All three of the federal and four of the state class-actions were dismissed on pretrial motions with no payment made by the Parish. The remaining eight class-actions were consolidated and proceeded to trial. After a four-week jury trial, a verdict was rendered in favor of the Parish, finding no liability on the Parish’s part on any of plaintiffs’ allegations and resulting in a judgment of dismissal entered in the Parish’s favor.
Defense Verdict in Civil Rights Action Against State Police: Our attorneys obtained a defense jury verdict on behalf of four State Troopers in a federal civil rights action. The plaintiff filed suit in federal court in New Orleans alleging that he was falsely stopped, handcuffed, subjected to excessive force, and arrested in violation of his Fourth Amendment constitutional rights. State Troopers arrested the plaintiff after he kicked an officer twice.
Trucking accident Plaintiff demanded $1 million dollar settlement: Firm attorneys secured a $0 jury verdict after a weeklong trial in Federal Court. The case involved a high speed three-vehicle trucking accident in which a co-defendant truck collided with our insured truck before striking plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff was well-represented by a firm who recently was successful in obtaining a $51 million dollar verdict in a well-publicized trucking case. Plaintiff initially demanded a $1 million settlement from our insured and threatened to seek an excess verdict. They argued that our insured driver was negligent for slowing on the interstate and went so far as to claim our insured company was negligent for hiring and retaining the driver and asked the jury for several million dollars. Despite being the only defendant left at trial, our attorneys convinced the jury that our insured was blame-free and obtained a zero defense verdict.
Wrongful Death Involving a Paving and Asphalt Contractor: Firm attorneys André C. Gaudin and Joseph J. Valencino secured a defense verdict in a Mississippi road-construction, wrongful death case following a five-day jury trial in Jackson County, Mississippi. Plaintiffs sued a paving and asphalt contractor and the local county government for their alleged combined fault in causing the single vehicle accident. The decedent drove or “fell” off the newly paved road, allegedly was unable to correct or re-steer onto the roadway due to a steep drop off or low shoulder caused by the paving operation, struck an intersecting roadway and was ejected from the vehicle and perished. Plaintiffs alleged that the insured’s paving operations created a hazard on the roadway and that, further, the insured failed to warn the motoring public and the decedent of the hazard by failing to install or maintain low or no shoulder warning signs at the site. Plaintiffs sought economic and general damages and additionally claimed punitive damages. While asserting the usual defenses to duty and breach thereof, Firm attorneys specifically pushed back against plaintiffs’ proximate cause position. Critically, this defense was crystallized by exposing the pre-trial opinions of plaintiffs’ own accident reconstruction expert, who testified at trial in a manner contrary to his report and discovery deposition. Mid-trial motion practice successfully discharged the negligence per se, joint venture (with the county) and punitive damage claims, but the trial judge preserved the simple negligence claim for consideration and determination by the jury. The jury, hearing the claims against the insured paving contractor reached only the first question on the jury verdict form: Was [the insured] negligent and did the negligence of [the insured] proximately cause or contribute to [plaintiffs’ decedent’s] single vehicle accident and subsequent death? The jury answered: “No.”
Injuries due to a rear-end accident: Plaintiff filed suit complaining of injuries caused by a rear-end accident on I-10 East just outside Laplace, Louisiana. A Motion for Summary Judgment was granted pre-trial in favor of the plaintiff, casting the insured at fault in the cause of the motor vehicle accident and liable for any injuries and damages proved at trial. During the five day jury trial, plaintiff presented evidence of spinal pathologies in the cervical and lumbar spine and offered the testimony of his treating neurosurgeon, who recommended not one but two spinal fusion procedures. The defense was hampered by the lack of any evidence of significant prior accidents, injuries or claims. Plaintiff’s life care planner and forensic economist proposed special damages of nearly $1.5 million, and at the conclusion of trial, plaintiff’s counsel suggested that the jury enter an award just shy of $3.5 million. Instead, the jury answered only the first question of the jury verdict form: “Did Plaintiff suffer an injury as a result of the October 16, 2015, automobile accident?” The jury answered “No.”
Damaged Iliac Artery During Surgery: The firm assumed the defense of this medical malpractice matter only a few months before trial. The plaintiff was well-represented by a local and experienced trial attorney who specializes in prosecuting medical malpractice actions. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant/surgeons deviated from the standard of care during a diagnostic laparoscopic surgery, specifically alleging that the surgeons strayed from the appropriate operative field and damaged her external iliac artery, ignored her post-operative complaints of leg pain, and failed to secure a vascular consult. At the close of plaintiff’s case, firm attorneys moved for directed verdicts on future medical expenses and economic damages, which were granted. After deliberating about four hours, the jury answered “No” to the first question on the verdict form: “Do you find by a preponderance of the evidence that defendants breached the standard of care in its treatment of plaintiff?” Thus, ending deliberations with an 11-1 defense verdict on liability.
Gallbladder Surgery Case: Our attorneys obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice litigation filed against a medical center in Orleans Parish. The claim involved an elderly woman treated by staff physicians at the medical center. During the course of a gallbladder surgery, the common bile duct was nicked, resulting in a slow but steady leak of bile into the patient’s peritoneum that went undetected during surgery. Prior to trial, a medical review panel concluded that the injury was a known risk of the surgery of which the patient had been informed prior to consenting to the surgery, that the operating physicians had not committed malpractice during the performance of the surgery, and that the patient accordingly was not entitled to recover from the doctors. The jury agreed, returning a defense verdict.
Trip and Fall with Spoliation of Evidence Claim: Andre 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, plaintiffs’ attorneys asked the jury to enter judgment against our client arguing for liability and proposing damages in excess of $500,000. Plaintiffs’ 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.
Slip and Fall with $1.1 Million Demand: In Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, “a judicial hell hole” 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.
Multiple Injuries Sustained in Trucking Accident: The Plaintiff alleged multiple injuries, permanent disabilities, and past and future lost wages due to a clear liability trucking accident. By conducting extensive online and social media investigation and discovery, Firm attorneys were able to significantly undercut the plaintiff’s claims and negotiated a favorable settlement on eve of trial.
Racial Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation: Plaintiff filed an initial lawsuit asserting racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana under Title VII. The discrimination claims were dismissed on summary judgment, but the harassment and retaliation claims proceeded to trial. Following a five-day jury trial Firm attorneys obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict dismissing all of Plaintiff’s claims. Shortly before trial in the first lawsuit, Plaintiff filed a second lawsuit in state court, this time alleging that his termination violated his rights as a police officer under the Louisiana Police Officers’ Bill of Rights. This claim was dismissed from the federal court lawsuit due to the State’s Eleventh Amendment immunity from state law claims in federal court. Our Firm filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking dismissal of this claim. In May 2017, the Firm obtained dismissal of the second state court lawsuit on summary judgment based on Plaintiff’s failure to prove that he was entitled to any rights under the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.
Rear-End Accident Involving Bulldozer: The Firm successfully represented Defendant, his company, and his insurer, in a five-day jury trial in Beauregard Parish. Plaintiff alleged Defendant rear-ended her Ford F150 pick-up truck with his bulldozer while she was stuck in the mud. Defendant denied it; witnesses supported both accounts. Plaintiff asked for more than $1.1 million for a two level discectomy with plate and cadaver bone placement and a right carpal tunnel release. After heavy cross-examination, the jury remained impressed with the firm’s medical expert who walked them through plaintiff’s two pre-surgery MRI films, something plaintiff’s treating surgeon did not do. In the end, the jury believed the defense and reached a no liability defense verdict.
Rear-End Accident Plaintiff Seeking $1.17 Million: In mid-2015, firm attorneys successfully prosecuted the defense of a case of commercial auto lability in Orleans Parish Civil District Court – a challenging jurisdiction – in which plaintiff secured a jury verdict well-within the pre-suit potential judgment evaluation and, indeed, below the last pre-trial offer and Offer of Judgment. Plaintiff was involved a rear-end collision, thus presenting a case of presumed liability. Plaintiff claimed significant injuries as a result of the accident, submitted to an L4-5 lumbar fusion and presented at trial with emerging, pre-surgical knee complaints. She claimed she was totally disabled from pursuing her pre-accident employment as a nurse. At the close of trial, plaintiff counsel argued for an award of $1.17 million; the jury awarded just over $350,000, critically including only $189,000 in general damages and $26,000 for total – past and future – economic damages.
Construction Defect Case: Our attorneys, showing true determination, won an appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court, after obtaining, not one, but two unanimous jury verdicts in favor of our client in a personal injury case. The first jury verdict was overturned when the trial court granted a motion for a new trial. The second jury verdict was overturned by the appellate court, who rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff in excess of $2 million. With the law on their side and a brilliantly-argued appeal, our attorneys convinced the Louisiana Supreme Court to reinstate the jury verdict in favor of our client.
Alleged Misdiagnosis of Brain Tumor: The case involved a claim that a teenager’s benign brain tumor was misdiagnosed as malignant and was the cause of intermittent epileptic seizures. Due to the alleged misdiagnosis, extensive brain surgery was performed to remove the tumor as well as some surrounding brain tissue. It was determined post operatively that the tumor was benign. Plaintiff claimed the surgery was unnecessary and resulted in the loss of brain tissue that left plaintiff with various cognitive and neurological impairments. After a five day jury trial in CDC, and several hours of jury deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of our client/surgeon.
Defense Verdict In Nephrology Case: Our attorneys obtained a defense jury verdict in medical malpractice litigation filed in Jefferson Parish. A chronically ill patient developed problems during dialysis, was transferred to the emergency room, and died during treatment. Trial of the action consumed three weeks. The jury deliberated less that two-hours, rendering a defense verdict.
Toxic Mold in Public Housing: The Firm represented two individual developments in a class action filed by 30 years of public housing development residents who sought damages for exposure to toxic mold resulting from leaking roofs, decrepit plumbing, etc. After a three-day trial, the Judge addressed the plaintiffs’ arguments regarding alleged contractual claims, contra non valentem and continuing tort, and rejected these arguments. Thus, the trial court granted a defense exception of prescription. This ruling was later vacated on procedural grounds by the Louisiana Fourth Circuit. The case was brought on appeal to the Supreme Court who denied the writs and sent the matter back to the trial court. In the end, the matter settled very reasonably for our client at mediation.
Alleged Medical Malpractice Causing Renal Failure and Death: Firm attorneys represented physicians in a two-day trial conducted in Washington Parish, Louisiana. The plaintiffs/survivors alleged malpractice causing renal failure and the death of a patient. Our attorneys’ grasp of the complicated medical issues involved including securing, preparing and presenting at trial the straightforward testimony of complex medical issues through the use of an expert, were central to the successful defense of the action and produced a take-nothing verdict.
Defense Verdict In Colon Resection Operation Case: Our attorneys secured a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice action involving allegations of intraoperative complications in a colon resection operation performed by both a staff and resident surgeon. The defense verdict was affirmed on appeal, and, of particular note, the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit authored a decision in fervent support of the teaching system at public hospitals.