Firm attorneys, Dennis Phayer and Chris Tankersley, defeated a class-action, consisting of at least 41,000 Jefferson Parish property owners/residents, who claimed property and personal injury damages following Hurricane Katrina flooding. They claimed the August 28, 2005 decision to evacuate parish-pump operators constituted willful misconduct, a potential exception to governmental immunity. Our attorneys persuaded the jury that the decision was the correct one made while under the threat of the catastrophic storm as it approached our state.
Local media closely observed the 4-week jury trial – reporting on it daily, or more often. In a first for our Firm, reporters ‘live blogged’ the closing arguments. The issues were complex; several immunity statutes were in play; and there was an issue whether the operators would have been able to pump during the actual Katrina event. The case represents the first verdict under the Louisiana Homeland Security Act. The causation evidence was highly contested and complicated. Our lawyers, Parish representatives and experts, explained the Parish’s complex drainage system allowing the jury to feel comfortable with, and understand, the science and the truth.
For more information, please contact: Bruce D. Burglass, Jr.