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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

How to prove negligence

Louisiana residents who are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit may not necessarily be aware of how the process works. In order to sue for damages, the plaintiff must prove that they sustained damages due to the defendant's negligence. There are four aspects of negligence one must prove in order to prove fault.

One of the things that the plaintiff will have to prove is that they actually sustained damages due to the incident. This may consist of injury or damage to property, but it must be something that the plaintiff can be compensated for. The plaintiff will also have to prove causation, or that the damages they suffered were actually caused by a negligent act or omission of the defendant and not some other cause.

Family blames ambulance for death of relative, files lawsuit

Two members of a Louisiana family filed a lawsuit against the company that owned an ambulance so poorly maintained that their mother is alleged to have died as a result of being transported by it. According to the lawsuit, which was filed on June 9, the plaintiffs claim that their mother either contracted decubitus ulcers from the vehicle or had them aggravated by it, which ultimately led to her death.

The plaintiffs claim that the ambulance, which transported their mother for six hours, caused the victim to experience an unnecessarily rough transport. They also allege that the ambulance had no air conditioning. Additionally, both plaintiffs claim to have personally seen an ulcer on the victim that developed after her transport.

Dialysis unit malfunction involved in wrongful death suit

The wife of a man who died after using a home dialysis machine filed a lawsuit in Louisiana on June 10. The suit maintains that the unit he was given was not working properly and that the health care company who provided it did not respond appropriately.

The suit is asking for compensatory damages related to funeral costs and medical expenses. It also lists pain and suffering, fear of death, loss of consortium and lost income and support.

Drunk driver ran from fatal crash, Louisiana State Police say

Police detained a 27-year-old man on suspicion of DWI after he allegedly fled from a three-vehicle crash in Plaquemines Parish on foot. The July 8 car accident reportedly happened on Louisiana 23 at around 3:30 a.m. and resulted in the death of a 19-year-old driver.

According to the Louisiana State Police, the 27-year-old man was driving north on the highway in a Chevrolet Silverado when he traversed the median and entered into oncoming traffic. The Silverado then collided head-on with a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck, reportedly. Subsequent to that collision, the S-10 pickup truck was rear-ended by a southbound Ford Mustang that tried to avoid the wreck to no avail.

Plaquemines hopes to keep case against oil companies in Louisiana

A judge will not rule until after Sept. 12 in a case that is part of a larger series of 21 lawsuits against 18 oil companies in Louisiana. While the judge in the case typically rules from the bench after hearing arguments, he is only hearing three of the cases while the rest are being heard by other judges.

Therefore, his rulings could have an impact on how other judges rule in the other cases, and he wants to have his ruling in writing. Both sides were asked to submit a final brief in the case by Sept. 12. One of the key issues in the case being heard by the judge has to do with diversity, or whether plaintiffs or defendants are from more than one state.

Japanese automakers recall cars due to airbags

Three Japanese automakers recently issued recalls affecting vehicles in Louisiana and other southern states known for their humid climates. The automakers, Honda, Mazda and Nissan, are recalling nearly 3 million vehicles because of the possibility that high absolute humidity might cause their airbags to explode. The automakers announced the recalls on June 23.

Reportedly, Takata Corp., a Japanese auto-part supplier, is responsible for the faulty airbags. According to authorities, the airbags may deploy and rupture in the presence of too much pressure. Alongside the National Highway Transit Safety Agency, Takata initiated an investigation into the defective airbags. The investigation reportedly began after six incidents involving Takata airbags occurred in Florida and Puerto Rico. A representative for Takata stated that the corporation believes that high absolute humidity is a contributory factor to the malfunctioning airbags.

The lawsuit against oil companies may be stalled

Levees.org offered its support upon hearing that Southeast Louisiana flood Protection Authority-East had filed a lawsuit against 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies. The suit claimed that the Katrina-flooded New Orleans had resulted from poorly designed levees and floodwalls as well as significant damage to the wetlands due to oil and gas exploration and production.

Louisiana State Governor Bobby Jindal and Senator Robert Adley took many routes to try and stop the lawsuit from going further despite criticism from other government officials. Their efforts seemed to be rewarded as the Louisiana legislature passed legislation that is now known as Act 544 of 2014, which may not only put a stop to the lawsuit but may also affect claims against BP over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawsuit has come to a head where there are many questions that are being challenged. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has concerns of his own and is expected to review the legislation further.

Drugs found in system of pilot in fatal air crash

A National Transportation and Safety Board investigation into a 2013 Louisiana airplane accident revealed that a student pilot on the plane, a 28-year-old-man from Indiana, had marijuana and a pharmaceutical drug in his system at the time of the crash. The man's instructor, 78-year-old instructor, was also on the plane when the incident occurred, and evidence suggests that that man had ingested drugs that are commonly used to treat conditions that were not revealed to the FAA.

At the time of the crash, the pair had been practicing crop spraying passes and turns. A NTSB representative related that they had made 9 aerial spray passes and turns prior to the crash. The NTSB report also revealed that the instructor was not authorized to teach the techniques that were being practiced that day. One news outlet suggests that the instructor had flown with a senior instructor the day before the crash and did not fly well. The small airplane was also found to be a minimum of 32 pounds overweight.

Louisiana flood board votes to continue lawsuit

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East flood board met on June 19 and voted to press forward with a lawsuit against 97 different gas, oil and pipeline companies that was originally filed in the summer of 2013. The vote was 4-4, and one member was absent, which means that a motion to kill the lawsuit failed. Groups such as the League of Woman Voters and the Bureau of Governmental Research were in favor of the lawsuit continuing.

Governor Bobby Jindal has replaced several members of the board who have supported the lawsuit and created legislation that bars the lawsuit from going forward. Supporters of the lawsuit say that the new law will be challenged, and it was mentioned that the state would have to pay for 14,000 hours that have already been spent on the case.

GM adds 4 models to recall

Louisiana drivers may want to know about a recent recall involving more than 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. by General Motors. So far in 2014, the automaker has recalled more than 14 million vehicles in 38 separate incidents. According to reports, the recent wave of recalls is the result of GM's new process of fixing car issues after it was revealed that the carmaker waited more than a decade to repair an ignition switch defect in its older vehicles.

On June 13, GM announced that it is recalling 530,000 vehicles in addition to the 2.6 million already announced earlier in the year. The new vehicles, which include Chevrolet Camaros from the last four model years, Saab convertibles, Chevrolet Sonics and late model Buick LaCrosses, are being recalled for different reasons than the previously recalled cars. Those earlier vehicles had a faulty ignition switch, which could turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion. This has led to 13 reported fatalities so far.

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Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC
721 Kirby Street, P.O. Box 2125
Lake Charles, LA 70601
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