Category - Litigation


Court Announces New Rule of Liability for Unsafe Truck Cargo

A Louisiana appellate court recently decided a case of first impression regarding the duties owed between a trucker and the shipper for the safe handling of cargo. The court ruled that the trucker bears the primary burden for safely handling the cargo, except for latent or concealed defects in the cargo. The Louisiana Third Circuit …


The Pitfalls of Fax Filing

Courts in Louisiana will scrupulously review fax-filed pleadings to ensure that the exact same pleadings are submitted both for the fax-filing and the “original” filing.  As one recent case demonstrated, simply correcting a typographical error in the original-filed copy could result in dismissal of the pleading and the dismissal of the entire case. The Louisiana …


Facebook: A Multi-Purpose Tool in Litigation

The majority of cases involving the discoverability of Facebook posts relate to damages or impeachment evidence in personal injury cases, as we have outlined in a previous post.  However, in a unique situation, a Facebook post served as an important piece of evidence that the plaintiff’s cause of action for damages from a defective medical …


Policy Exclusion Cannot Be Raised in an Exception of No Right of Action

An insurer defendant cannot assert an exclusion of its insurance policy in an exception of no right of action, according to a recent decision by the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal. The court explained that an exclusion in an insurance policy generally is an affirmative defense, which the court determined cannot be raised in …


Social Media Continues to Impact Litigation

Social media continues to influence not just the news, but litigation as well.  Courts recently have been forced to address the discovery and use of social media posts for impeachment purposes and in other substantive contexts. Since the firm posted Heather Reznik’s article “Discovery of Social Media Sites Explained” in September 2015, all three United …


Negligence Action Against an Employee and a Negligent Supervision Action Against the Employer are Mutually Exclusive

  A plaintiff cannot simultaneously pursue a negligence cause of action against an employee and a direct negligent training and supervision cause of action against the employer, if the employee was in the course and scope of employment, according to a Louisiana federal district court. The plaintiff was injured when the driver of a Greyhound …


Fourth Circuit Gives First Ever Louisiana Interpretation of Aviation Policy Endorsement

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal recently provided the first ever Louisiana interpretation of certain provisions of an aircraft liability policy.  In King v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 2016-0170 (La. App. 1 Cir. 9/7/16); 200 So. 3d 989, the plaintiff’s minor child was killed in the crash of a gyrocopter, an experimental amateur-built aircraft.  The …


Insured May Be Responsible for Pro Rata Share of Defense Costs in Long-Latency Cases

Defense costs may be prorated among insurers and the insured in long-latency disease cases, according to a recent decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court.  This rule only applies in long-latency disease cases, the Court instructed, and was grounded in the language of the particular insurance policy at issue. The case arose in the long-running Arceneaux …


Plaintiff Cannot Be Compensated for Help Managing His Damage Award

A Louisiana federal judge recently rebuffed a plaintiff’s attempt to extend the range of available damages to include an award for “financial management” damages in a Jones Act claim.  The opinion contains little factual information, but the plaintiff apparently was 27 years old at the time of the injury and had reached maximum medical improvement …


Louisiana Summary Judgment Changes Now in Effect

As of January 1, 2016, a number of revisions came into effect regarding Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Art. 966. The purpose of these changes is to revise and clarify the procedure for motions for summary judgment. Despite these changes, it is important to note that the legal standard for granting a Motion for Summary …


Medical Expense Write-Offs Not Recoverable, Says Louisiana High Court

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently announced a “bright-line” rule that a write-off from a medical provider, negotiated by the plaintiff’s attorney, is not covered by the collateral source rule and cannot be recovered by the plaintiff. In Hoffman v. 21st Century North America Ins. Co., 2014-2279 (10/2/2015), the Court considered a case with clear evidence …


Discovery of Social Media Sites Explained

Social media websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, offer significant information which may provide valuable impeachment evidence in lawsuits filed by personal injury plaintiffs. This information includes references to a plaintiff’s physical condition and injuries both prior and subsequent to a subject accident, daily activities, and the subject accident itself. However, information from the …


No Negligent Spoliation in Louisiana

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently reigned in the remedies available against a party that inadvertently loses or destroys evidence.  In Reynolds v. Bordelon, 2014–C–2362, issued on June 30, 2015, the Court held that Louisiana does not recognize the tort of negligent spoliation of evidence. In Reynolds, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant auto insurer and …