Louisiana Injury Lawyer Blog

Congratulations to our newly elected Governor – John Bel Edwards!!

As a faithful husband, dedicated father, unwavering public servant, proud veteran, humble man of religion, and small business owner, John Bel Edwards will be a Governor who will finally put Louisiana families and Louisiana workers first and get us back on the right track after eight years of failing policies.

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The campaign released the following statement: “We won because of you. Thank you for voting to put Louisiana first. You believed in our campaign to bring honor and integrity back to the state of Louisiana. My campaign slogan has been ‘put Louisiana first’ from the start, and that is exactly what I plan to do for the next four years. To me, that has always meant bringing our people together, regardless of party, to celebrate the things that make our state strong and solve our greatest problems. I promise you tonight that I will always do what is best for all Louisianians — for our children, our veterans, our senior citizens. I believe Louisiana is worth fighting for. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to lead our state. Louisiana’s future doesn’t belong to a political party — it belongs to all of us. I will work every day to make you proud of your vote and of your state.”

Absent serious injury or death, Louisiana law generally prohibits parking or leaving a non-disabled vehicle standing upon the traveled part of the highway, even after a motor vehicle accident. Unfortunately for Lafayette, Louisiana man, 50 year old Alton Ortega, two 18 wheelers involved in an accident on I-10 in Iberville Parish parked their big rigs in the right hand travel lane of the interstate following an accident. According to the Louisiana State Police, around 4:00 a.m on November 6, 2015, Mr. Ortega was traveling on I-10 when he encountered the parked 18 wheelers. He avoided hitting one of the 18 wheelers, but rear-ended the other 18 wheeler. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Louisiana Revised Statute (La.R.S.) 32:141 provides that no person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main traveled part of the highway when it is practicable to stop, park or so leave such vehicle off such part of said highway, unless the vehicle is disabled to the point that it is impossible avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the vehicle in that position. La.R.S. 32:141(C) further provides that between sunset and sunrise, the driver of any vehicle left parked, attended or unattended on any highway shall display appropriate signal lights thereon, sufficient to warn approaching traffic of its presence.

And, contrary to the belief of most drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident, La.R.S. 32:141(D) provides that if the driver is not prevented by injury and the vehicle is not disabled by the accident, or the accident has not resulted in serious injury or death of any person, the driver shall remove the vehicle from the travel lane of the highway to the nearest safe shoulder.
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A 13 year-old child was killed on October 29, 2015 in a car crash in Monroe, Louisiana. The child was one of several passengers in a 2013 Toyota SUV being operated by Florence Nash of Monroe, Louisiana.

According to the preliminary investigation by Troop F of the Louisiana State Police, the Toyota SUV failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of US 165-B and Buckhorn Bend Road just south of Monroe, resulting in a crash with a 2003 Ford truck being operated by Becky Lee of West Monroe.

Nash and several passengers were taken to local hospitals for injuries. The 13 year-old died from her injuries while at the hospital.

The car crash is still under investigation.
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Money_Cash.jpgIn a dispute characterized by the trial court as “ordinary people against nice doctors and [a] heartless soulless insurance company,” a successful doctor and his insurer appealed a judgment against the unsuccessful plaintiff that ONLY awarded them $3,539.75 for expert costs. The trial court was not persuaded by the “cold heartless” insurance company and the doctor to make the victim of the alleged medical malpractice pay them an additional $34,064.41 to compensate their out of state expert witness.

The dispute arose because an unsuccessful party in a lawsuit can be required to pay the costs (including expert witness fees, deposition costs and related expenses) of the successful party. See La. Civil Code article 1920 and La. Revised Statutes 13:3666 and 13:4533, which give the trial court great discretion in awarding costs as it may consider equitable.

Under the unique facts of the case, and recognizing the flexibility of the trial court in awarding costs, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgment because the defendants failed to introduce into evidence any documentation or testimony whatsoever to support the expert’s bills. William McDougald v. St. Francis North Hospital, 50-079 (La. App. 2 Cir. 10/14/15).
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LAFJ.pngLAJ Past-President (2014-2015) Steve Herman awarded Scott Andrews the prestigious Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ) President’s Award for outstanding and highly dedicated service to the legal profession and the Association at the LAJ Fall Conference in New Orleans on September 11, 2015. Scott Andrews has been a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana law firm of Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews for 19 years.

The Louisiana Association for Justice is a voluntary bar association whose statewide membership is composed mostly of lawyers who have a trial practice. Both defense and plaintiff attorneys belong to the association; however, most LAJ members represent consumer plaintiffs in civil actions. LAJ attorney-members are small business owners, maintaining a practice and supporting an office staff of fewer than 20 persons.

LAJ and its members pledge to promote justice for the workplace, a clean environment and quality and affordable health care for all Americans. LAJ members and trial lawyers in general seek fairness in the courts for the aggrieved and injured and work to uphold the honor and dignity of the civil justice system and the legal profession.

LAJ members give back to their communities. They handle pro bono cases for the disadvantaged, coach little league teams and serve on boards of civic organizations. They are active church members. They contribute their time and financial resources to the communities in which they live.

As an organization, LAJ also works for the citizens of Louisiana. LAJ and its members sponsored People’s Law Schools at locations throughout the state. Through a partnership with Louisiana SafeKids, LAJ participated in statewide bicycle safety programs. As part of the safety program, hundreds of Louisiana youngsters received free bike helmets donated by LAJ members.

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Thumbnail image for BestLawyers.pngBest Lawyers in America© 2016 lists every member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury law firm of Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews.
Paul H. Due’ is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice areas of Admiralty and Maritime Law, Appellate Practice, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Donald W. Price is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs.

Kirk A. Guidry is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Randy A. Piedrahita is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs.

B. Scott Andrews is recognized by his Best Lawyers® peers in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs.

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and one of the most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession. This lists of lawyers are compiled by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of rated attorneys confidentially evaluate their professional peers.
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Thumbnail image for top100triallawyers.jpgBaton Rouge, Louisiana lawyers, Paul H. Due’, Donald W. Price, Kirk A. Guidry and B. Scott Andrews, have been selected for 2015 membership in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers.

According to The National Trial Lawyers criteria, it is a member-driven organization composed of premier trial lawyers from across the country who meet stringent qualifications. Only top trial lawyers from Louisiana who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

Prospective members of The National Trial Lawyers are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership. Membership is not automatically renewed; attorneys are reevaluated annually to determine whether their activities and accomplishments qualify them for continued membership.
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For the third consecutive year, Louisiana Super Lawyers recognizes every member (Paul H. Due’, Donald W. Price, Kirk A. Guidry, Randy A. Piedrahita and B. Scott Andrews) of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury law firm of Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews.

The reason each member has been selected for inclusions in the 2015 Louisiana Super Lawyers list in the practice area of Personal Injury is clear – more than 28 years of handling referrals of complex and difficult personal injury cases from lawyers around the world. The firm’s success is rooted in academia, with all firm members having graduated at the top of their law school class and having served as members of or as editors of their Law Reviews. The firm boasts two former Louisiana Supreme Court law clerks, a former U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals law clerk, an Adjunct Professor of Law, two past Presidents of the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ), and both a former Louisiana appellate judge and an esteemed University of Texas Law Professor “of counsel”.

This academic background, combined with dedication, hard work and extensive experience, has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments, settlements and verdicts. The firm’s success has been shared with the extensive number of attorneys around the world who have referred complex personal injury cases to the firm – and who find the firm’s experience and funding assistance invaluable in representing their seriously injured clients.

The Louisiana trial lawyers at Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews combine their academic backgrounds, practical trial experience and financial “staying power” to add up to success for clients and the lawyers trusting the firm with referrals.

The firm and all firm members enjoy the prestigious AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and firm members have been recognized by Best Lawyers, U.S. News – Best Law Firms, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
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Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews attorney Paul H. Due’ was recently selected by his peers as 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Paul H. Due’ received this same honor in 2009.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer-review assessments.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

In addition to the 2015 Lawyer of the Year award, Paul H. Due’ was also listed in the 2015 Best Lawyers in America in the following practice areas:

Admiralty and Maritime Law
Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
Personal Injury Litigation- Plaintiffs

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Paul H. Due’ has been recognized by Best Lawyers every year since 1995.

Paul H. Due’ began his legal career after finishing first in his law school class at the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 1966. His Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury law firm, Due’, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews, focuses on trial and appeals of complex personal injury, brain injury, burn injury, and wrongful death litigation, including car wrecks, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.

Paul H. Due’, a past-president of LAJ, had previously been honored with the LAJ President’s Award and the LAJ Stalwart Award. Paul is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been selected for inclusion in Louisiana Super Lawyers since its inception.
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