Scott O. Gaspard
Scott has particular expertise in state and local government defense and municipal liability. He also has experience in medical malpractice, construction litigation, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, and other insurance related litigation. Scott has represented governmental entities, insurance companies, and a variety of businesses in litigation in state and federal proceedings, including class action defense.
Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
Juris Doctor – 1995
Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Bachelor of Business Administration – 1992
Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Master of Business Administration – 1995
- Louisiana, 1995
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
- New Orleans Bar Association
- Louisiana State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
Firm Beats Vicarious Liability Claim against Trucking Company Owner from an Employee’s Fight, and Gets Affirmed on Appeal
Secured a ruling from the First Circuit Court of Appeal affirming summary judgment in favor of the firm’s trucking client, which was sued by another truck driver following an altercation with the client’s driver. The plaintiff sustained significant injuries, including vision loss and alleged a cognitive impairment, as a result of the altercation. The issue on appeal was whether the firm’s trucking client was vicariously liable for the actions of its truck driver, who viciously beat the other truck driver with a metal pipe after an altercation began over the client’s driver losing his place in a line at a lumber mill. The First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, which had dismissed the claims of both plaintiff and an intervening worker’s compensation carrier. Plaintiff and the worker’s compensation carrier also asserted that the trucking client had negligently hired and trained its truck driver; a claim which was also dismissed by the District Court. In their appellate briefs, plaintiff and the compensation carrier contended that the actions of the client’s truck driver were primarily employment rooted and reasonably incidental to the performance of the driver’s job. Critical facts were developed which demonstrated that the altercation and the escalation to physical violence stepped beyond the client’s interests and, instead, served only the driver’s interest in pursuing revenge for a perceived wrong.
Hurricane Katrina Class Action Claims
Scott was part of a team of Firm attorneys 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 was 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 the 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.
Summary Dismissal of an Elevator Maintenance Claim
Obtained affirmation on appeal for an elevator maintenance company in a case in which the plaintiff alleged that she was injured exiting an elevator, which allegedly dropped and bounced. Plaintiff sustained a right humerus fracture requiring intramedullary rods. Scott was successful in securing a dismissal of the elevator maintenance company via summary judgment. Plaintiff’s opposition relied on expert reports from an elevator maintenance expert and a biomechanical expert asserting prior notice of potential tripping hazards. The trial court agreed with defense counsel that those expert reports did not support a claim of notice of any problems related to the specific dropping/bouncing claims asserted by plaintiff.
Shake, Rattle and Sue
Secured a dismissal through a summary judgment for a local parish government that was sued by various residents who claimed that drainage improvements damaged their homes through the driving and removal of sheet piles and effects of dewatering. Although plaintiffs proffered an expert report to establish evidence of a causal link between that construction project and the claimed damages to their homes, Scott secured expert testimony from a civil engineer and established that plaintiff’s expert’s opinion was insufficient, as a matter of law, to create a genuine issue of material fact.
Merchant of Liquor
Successfully represented a lounge in a slip and fall action. Scott urged and won a motion for summary judgment against a bar patron who brought a slip and fall action against the lounge, alleging that, while dancing on the dance floor, she slipped on a piece of ice and fell. The ruling is routinely cited as among the first to apply the Merchant Liability Act to a lounge operator.
New Home Warranty Act Limitations
Successfully secured a dismissal for a general contractor in a residential construction case involving water intrusion and mold claims, allegedly requiring the complete demolition of the structure. Scott secured the dismissal of all claims against the insured via summary judgment, invoking the liability and time limitations imposed in Louisiana’s New Home Warranty Act.
Throw Me Something Mister
Successfully obtained prescription defense dismissal. Scott represented a parade organizer and its insurer in a lawsuit brought by a parade spectator for injuries she allegedly sustained at a parade, who then added a float driver and his employer as additional defendants. The trial court granted the exception of prescription we filed on behalf of the float driver and his employer and denied the spectator’s motion for a new trial. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit held that the initial suit against the parade organizer and its insurer did not interrupt prescription for the suit against the float driver and his employer.