In Caldwell v. St. Charles Gaming Company, 2019-01238 (La.1/2/2020), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that an employee injured in 2015 on the Grand Palais Riverboat casino in Westlake, Louisiana, was not a seaman under the Jones Act because the riverboat casino was no longer a vessel in navigation for purposes of the general maritime law.

In 2001, the Grand Palais Riverboat casino was moored in Westlake, Louisiana, by nylon mooring lines and steel wire cables, with its primary purpose being dockside gambling.  The riverboat casino has not moved since being moored, is serviced by shore-side utility lines that have not been disconnected since 2001, and the casino computer system is located on land.

After an injured riverboat technician filed suit under the Jones Act, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the issue of whether the injured employee was a Jones Act seaman.  The critical factual issue was whether the riverboat casino was a vessel in navigation.  The trial court denied the motions.

The Louisiana Supreme Court, in Blair v. Mary Coney, 2019-00795 (La.4/3/20), affirmed the trial court’s order excluding the expert opinion testimony of Dr. Charles E. “Ted” Bain because it was not based on sufficient facts or data.

According to the Supreme Court opinion, Dr. Charles E. “Ted” Bain is an injury causation consultant and partial owner of Biodynamics Research Corporation (“BRC”). Dr. Bain obtained a degree in nuclear engineering, but has never been licensed as a professional engineer. Dr. Bain received his medical degree in Canada and practiced in emergency medicine and family medicine. Dr. Bain completed three weeks of Traffic Accident Reconstruction Courses.

In 2014, George Blair filed a lawsuit in Louisiana for injuries he allegedly sustained in a car wreck. In an effort to disprove a causal connection between the alleged injuries and the wreck, the defendants hired Dr. Bain as an expert witness in the areas of biomechanics, injury causation analysis, and accident reconstruction. Dr. Bain issued a report concluding that the low speed rear-end collision subjected Mr. Blair to minimal forces and accelerations that would not cause serious or long-lasting injuries.

On April 13, 2020, around 10:30 p.m., a fatal car wreck occurred on Louisiana Highway 14 in Vermilion Parish.  The Louisiana State Police report that a truck being driven by Michael Savoy crossed the center line and crashed into an SUV being driven by Melinda Harrington of Kaplan, Louisiana.   Melinda Harrington died at the scene.

The pertinent provision of the Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act, La.R.S 32:79, provides that a vehicle must be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane of traffic and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.  When a vehicle crosses the center line and crashes into an oncoming vehicle in its lane of travel, the driver who crossed the center line is presumed to be at fault for  causing any injuries and damages sustained.

The experienced Baton Rouge, Louisiana law firm of Due’ Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. specializes in car wreck injury and wrongful death cases.  If you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a car wreck, contact one of our experienced lawyers for a free consultation.

Scott-Andrews-1-150x150B. Scott Andrews has been recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the 2020 Top 50 lawyers in the State of Louisiana across all practice areas. The determination was made based on Super Lawyers’ patented multi-phase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Louisiana lawyers who received the highest point totals during this selection process were recognized as the 2020 Top 50 Louisiana Super Lawyers.

B. Scott Andrews is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana boutique personal injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews, L.C. The law firm specializes in handling complex and catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims exclusively on behalf of injured victims and their families.

Motorcycle-accident-150x150Louisiana Revised Statute 14.98.1 generally defines the crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated or DWI as when the driver is under the influence of alcoholic beverages or when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08g% or more by weight. Being under the influence of alcohol can result in a driver having inhibited judgment, slow reaction time, lack of coordination, reduced coordination, and decreased vision.

Such impairment of driving skills often has deadly consequences, as was the case on September 21, 2019 around 11:00 p.m. in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. A 38-year-old Church Point resident was operating a 2013 Honda motorcycle in a westerly direction on Louisiana Highway 98, when a 2001 Ram truck traveling in the opposite direction began a left turn into a private driveway and directly into the path of the motorcycle. The truck driver’s failure to yield to the motorcycle resulted in a fatal motorcycle accident. The truck driver’s breath sample indicated a BAC of 0.158g%. The truck driver was charged with DWI, Illegal Left Turn, and Vehicular Homicide.

The Louisiana Injury Lawyers at Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. specialize in motorcycle accident cases. Member lawyers enjoy the prestigious AV Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and have been recognized by Best Lawyers® and Super Lawyers®.

Seatbelt-150x150Shortly after 7:00 a.m. on September 18, 2019, a two vehicle wreck involving a big rig occurred on US Highway 61 or Airline Highway in St. John the Baptist Parish. The fatal big rig wreck took the life of an unbelted 27-year-old resident of Reserve, Louisiana.

The 27-year-old was driving a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze southbound on Terre Haute Road in an attempt to cross Airline Highway.  A 2020 Kenworth 18-wheeler was traveling southbound on Airline Highway.  As the Chevrolet Cruze crossed Airline Highway, it was impacted on the passenger side by the big rig. The 27-year-old driver of the Chevrolet Cruze was not restrained and sustained severe injuries in the wreck.  She died at a local hospital.

While the Louisiana Highway Regulatory Act requires the use of seat-belts, La.R.S. 32:295.1(E) provides that in any action to recover damages arising out of the ownership, common maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle, failure to wear a seat-belt shall not be considered evidence of comparative negligence. Failure to wear a seat-belt shall not be admitted to mitigate damages.

Yield-the-Right-of-Way-150x150Louisiana Revised Statute 32:123 provides that a driver shall yield the right of way to all vehicles which have entered an intersection from another highway or which are approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard.  Failing to yield to the favored motorist can have devastating consequences, as was the case on September 12, 2019 in Calcasieu Parish when a two-vehicle wreck claimed the lives of two Sulphur, Louisiana residents.

Around 8:00 p.m., a 2019 Kia Rio traveling east on Louisiana Highway 108 failed to yield while turning left onto Louisiana Highway 27 near Sulphur, Louisiana.  The Kia Rio turned left into the path of a westbound 2014 Ford F-150 resulting in the fatal wreck.  The driver and passenger in the Kia Rio were pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the F-150 sustained moderate injuries.

Under Louisiana law, the left-turning driver who fails to yield is presumed to be at fault for the wreck and is responsible for all damages that follow, including for the wrongful death of a passenger.  Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.2 provides that a Louisiana wrongful death claim can be brought by the deceased’s (1) spouse and children, or if none, (2) by the parents, or if none, (3) by the siblings, or if none, (4) by the grandparents.  The right to bring a Louisiana wrongful death claim prescribes one year from the death of the deceased.

Kirk-and-Scott-BR-300x199Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.  Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. is proud to announce that two of the firm’s lawyers have once again been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Baton Rouge, Louisiana in two different practice areas:

  • Kirk A. Guidry – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs & Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • B. Scott Andrews – Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs & Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs

blf-badge-2019-150x150Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. is proud to announce its recognition in the prestigious 2019 U.S. News –Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings for the metro area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the Plaintiff practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation (t1) and Product Liability Litigation (t2).  To be eligible, a law firm must have at least one attorney who is recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers in a “Best Law Firms” ranked practice area / metro area.  Firm members  Kirk A. Guidry and B. Scott Andrews are recognized in the current edition in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Kirk is additionally recognized in the practice area of Product Litigation-Plaintiffs.

Scott Andrews was recently selected by his peers for the fourth time for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Plaintiff Personal Injury.   Scott Andrews is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., specializing in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation with nearly 87,000 industry leading lawyers from around the world eligible to vote.  For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

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