Jury Awards $9 Billion in Bladder Cancer Case

In one of the biggest damages verdicts ever imposed, a jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ordered two pharmaceutical corporations to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages for allegedly covering up cancer risks in the diabetes drug Actos. The plaintiffs filed suit … Read More

No Physical Defect Required for FSAA or LIA Claim

While employed as a conductor on a light locomotive engine for Alabama Great Southern Railroad Company (“employer”), plaintiff sustained an injury to his back and shoulder. Plaintiff alleged that as the locomotive engine approached railcars, the engineer attempted to apply the independent brake, but it would not respond. The locomotive engine collided with the railcars … Read More

Workers’ Compensation Law Bars Negligence Claim

Plaintiff, employed as a project assistant, claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment because a co-employee continually harassed her on the basis of her gender. Plaintiff filed suit against her employer for negligence resulting in mental, emotional, and physical injuries. The defendant-employer moved to dismiss on the grounds that the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation … Read More

Failure to Offer Evidence Results in Dismissal of Lawsuit

Plaintiff filed suit against a casino, alleging that she was injured in a slip and fall accident on a walkway in the casino’s parking lot. The casino moved to dismiss plaintiff’s suit on the basis that the walkway had a non-skid surface and there had been no similar accidents. In response, plaintiff echoed the allegations … Read More

Louisiana Third Circuit Rejects Insurer’s Retroactive Cancellation Argument

Plaintiff was allegedly injured when he was pinned between a vehicle and a building. The driver of the vehicle was insured by Essentia Insurance Company at the time of the accident. Plaintiff sued the driver and Essentia. On a motion for summary judgment, Essentia argued that the insurance policy had been cancelled prior to the … Read More

Sole Member of LLC Protected From Personal Liability

Generally, the law considers an LLC and its participants as wholly separate persons, and an LLC participant may not be cast with personal liability for the obligations of the LLC. However, immunity is not absolute and there are enumerated statutory exceptions. In Ogea v. Merritt, a lot owner brought suit against a home builder (“LLC”) and … Read More

IRS Sets 2014 Mileage Rate for Business Purposes

The Internal Revenue Service set the 2014 mileage rate for business purposes at 56 cents per mile, a decrease of one-half cent from the 2013 rate. The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. This rate became effective Jan. 1, 2014. … Read More

No First Amendment Right to Tweet

Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Steve Nash’s, divorce became an unexpected First Amendment contest. According to the July 2010 opinion of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Nash and his ex-wife voluntarily agreed to a joint custody agreement that included a standard nondisparage clause requiring each other’s communications to be respectful and nondisparaging of one another … Read More

Judicial Interest for 2014

In Louisiana, the Commissioner of Financial Institutions is charged with the responsibility of determining the judicial interest rate for the upcoming calendar year. For 2014, the rate of judicial interest is four percent (4.00%). The following is a historical list of judicial interest rates for the past fourteen years: 2000  -  7.285% 2001  -  8.241% … Read More

Premises Liability Plaintiff Falls Short on Summary Judgment

A woman slipped and fell at a P.F. Chang’s China Bistro (“the restaurant”) on her way to the bathroom and suffered injury to her lumbar spine. She sued the restaurant and its insurer under the statute codifying the burden of proof in cases against merchants. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the … Read More