In January 2017, firm attorneys tried Kandise M. Snider v. New Hampshire Insurance Company, et al., (insured/AIG), in Federal Court. Snider involved a three-vehicle trucking accident in which a co-defendant truck collided with our insured’s truck before colliding with plaintiff. Plaintiff initially demanded a $1 million settlement from our insured and threatened to seek an excess verdict. Despite being the only defendant left at trial, Messrs. Phayer and Foster convinced the jury that our insured was also blame-free and obtained a defense verdict.
In April 2017, Dennis Phayer was retained by the State of Louisiana 30 days prior to trial to serve as co-trial counsel in the defense in Theresa Green vs. LSU Health Sciences Center-NO., et al., a medical malpractice case in the Parish of Orleans. The claim involved an elderly woman treated by LSU staff physicians at University Hospital. 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. The medical review panel concluded that the injury sustained 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 patient thereafter filed suit in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. At the conclusion of trial, the jury retired to deliberate and in barely an hour returned a defense verdict in favor of the defendant physicians, finding no malpractice and exonerating them in all respects.
In June 2017, André Gaudin and his team tried a trip and fall case in Orleans Parish. Mary Fiveash v. Pat O’Brien Bar, Inc., et al (insured/Markel Services) involved a plaintiff who mis-stepped while exiting one of the bars flanking the carriageway of the historic building housing Pat O’Brien’s, and 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 Pat O’Brien’s Bar, Inc., 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 at Pat O’Brien’s Bar, Inc. that caused or contributed to plaintiff’s fall, and the spoliation claim was rejected.
Bruce D. Burglass, Jr.