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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

Oil industry lawsuit supporter re-nominated in Louisiana

A board member for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East, who has become known for his support of a lawsuit against the oil industry, was re-nominated for a position on the board on Sept. 18. The controversial suit against pipeline, oil and gas companies alleges that the companies damaged coastal areas that serve as a buffer against hurricanes and that they have not done enough to correct the situation.

The SLFPA-E board member is a geology and marine biology expert. His term formally expired in July, but board members argued that his knowledge of coastal matters and qualifications make him indispensable to the panel. He was re-appointed to the only available technical position, and Governor Bobby Jindal must formally appoint board members who are nominated. The board member's re-nomination is expected to maintain the 5-4 majority in the SLFPA-E that favors the lawsuit.

1 dead in multi-vehicle crash on Louisiana freeway

A 56-year-old New Orleans man was killed in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 10 in St. James Parish on Sept. 6. Of the two other drivers involved, one was injured with reportedly moderate to serious injuries. Authorities could not immediately determine whether driver impairment may have been a factor. A toxicology sample was taken from the deceased driver for analysis by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

According to the Louisiana State Police, the accident occurred just after 1:30 a.m. near Highway 641. They report that an eastbound Nissan Altima left the road, struck the median and ended up in westbound traffic where it was propelled into the pathway of a box truck after hitting a Jetta.

Louisiana man involved in hit-and-run declared brain dead

A Louisiana man struck by a vehicle was declared brain dead on Sept. 5. According to the report, the accident took place on Aug. 25 as the man was attempting to walk his bike across E. Washington Street in Baton Rouge.

The prognosis was determined by doctors after the man, aged 55, was brought out of a medically induced coma. At this time, the man's family reported that the injuries he suffered were too severe for any potential recovery. At the time the report was released, authorities stated that they were still searching for the driver who had caused the accident.

Levee board looking to hold gas and oil companies to their word

According to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the equivalent of roughly one football field of land is lost to the sea every 38 minutes. This figure was obtained from research done by the United States Geological Survey. It is projected that a landmass equivalent to the size of Rhode Island could be lost by 2050 if nothing is done to stop it.

Lawsuits have been filed against gas and oil companies that worked in the wetlands. The contention is that these companies were only permitted to work on the coast as long as they repaired the land to its original condition. A suit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East contends that 97 oil and gas companies have all contributed partially to the weakening of the Louisiana coast. While no one company is singled out in the suit, each company is asked to repair its share of the damage.

Suspects found over a month after fatal hit-and-run in Louisiana

On Sept. 3, local police arrested two people in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident that took place in New Orleans on July 27. Authorities allege that they were riding a stolen all-terrain vehicle and crashed into a woman who was standing outside of a nightclub.

According to New Orleans police, the incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. outside of Kermit Ruffin's Mother-in-Law Lounge, which is located at the intersection of Columbus Street and North Claiborne Avenue. Surveillance video shows that the driver of the ATV and his female passenger were thrown from the ATV in the accident. They fled the accident scene without attempting to help the victim. The woman who was hit by the ATV was hospitalized but never regained consciousness and died on Aug. 5 after being taken off life support.

Head-on crash leaves motorcyclist dead

A 54-year-old man from Kinder, Louisiana, was killed on Aug. 27 when his motorcycle was struck head-on. The man was riding on LA 383 roughly two miles north of Iowa when the crash occurred. According to State Police, an oncoming 2003 Mercury Marquis crossed the centerline and hit the cyclist.

The rider was killed at the scene of the accident. The 38-year-old man in the Mercury sustained minor injuries and was taken to Lake Charles hospital for treatment. Police suspected that the driver may have been impaired. If so, the crash would mark yet another motorcycle crash caused by an impaired driver in a state where 63 percent of motorcycle crash fatalities investigated by Louisiana State Police Troop D are caused by impaired drivers. It is the eighth fatal crash they have responded to this year.

Fate of lawsuit rests with board member appointments

In September, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal may have an opportunity to change the board membership of the South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The organization has been embroiled in a lawsuit against several pipeline, oil and gas companies. The suit alleges that the defendants' drilling and dredging activities have been a factor in the degradation of the coastal wetlands, a natural hurricane buffer for the city of New Orleans.

According to backers of the lawsuit, an award is needed to provide funding to restore the wetlands. Jindal is opposed to the lawsuit, stating that it infringes on the state's efforts to repair the coastline, is a windfall for litigators and is an assault against an important industry for the state. The current board supports the lawsuit with a 5-4 majority.

Pedestrian killed in car accident; no charges filed

A man was fatally struck by a car in New Orleans on August 17 around 4:00 p.m. on Elysian Fields Avenue. The man was attempting to cross the six-lane roadway and was not in a crosswalk when a northbound vehicle hit him. Though the speed limit in the area is 35 miles per hour, some witnesses alleged that the vehicle appeared to be speeding. The man was flung 20 feet in the air as a result of the impact according to a witness.

The white Honda that hit him continued traveling before eventually turning around and returning to the scene of the accident. Some witnesses believed there was no braking effort made and reported that there were no skid marks in the road to illustrate a last-minute attempt at braking. A passenger in the vehicle said the driver swerved to try to avoid the man crossing the street.

Customer sues car dealership; blames salesman for injuries

On July 15, a customer filed suit against a Louisiana car dealership, claiming that the injuries he suffered as a passenger were caused by a salesman who crashed the car into a curb. In the lawsuit, which was filed in the 24th Judicial District Court, the man seeks an undisclosed amount of compensation for damages that include lost earning capacity, lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental suffering and anguish.

According to the report, the incident occurred in Gretna as a Ray Brandt Nissan car salesman drove the plaintiff in one of the vehicles. The plaintiff said that the salesman caused him to suffer serious, incapacitating injuries after the car went over a curb. In his suit, he is accusing the defendant of failing to properly and timely apply the brakes, failing to maintain control, careless operation, failing to maintain a proper lookout and inattention.

Maritime laws in Louisiana

Louisiana maritime laws like the Jones Act were designed to provide employees with protection if an injury occurs while working out at the sea. The legislation enables employees who have suffered an injury due to someone else's carelessness to seek restitution for damages.

Under maritime law, if you were injured whole loading or unloading commercial vessels on the docks or during a boating accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation for subsequent medical treatment and other related expenses. Additionally, injuries suffered offshore at an oil rig or while receiving transportation via helicopter or boat to the oil rig are also covered.

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Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC
721 Kirby Street, P.O. Box 2125
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Ph: 337.310.1600 | 877.300.8680
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