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Lake Charles Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

New board candidates may jeopardize SLFPA-E suit

The fate of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies may be decided when filling seats on a New Orleans-area levee authority, and sources indicate that the committee meets to discuss applicants the week of Aug. 25. Elected officials have attacked the suit, and an anti-lawsuit commissioner could give the board enough votes to drop the case.

The SLFPA-E filed the lawsuit in 2013, alleging that coastal marshes were eroded and destroyed by oil and gas companies over decades. New Orleans is now said to be more vulnerable to storm surges because the marshes served as a buffer zone. Three men are candidates for two board positions. So far, Governor Bobby Jindal, a clear opponent of the suit, has replaced four committee members who supported the lawsuit.

Hit-and-run accident on Louisiana highway leads to arrest

Two vehicles collided in the early hours of Aug. 3 on LA 108 near LA 27. Police arrived on the scene and found only one vehicle and an injured driver. A Dodge Ram truck was sitting on the shoulder of LA 108. It had been hit and damaged on the driver's side by another vehicle making an improper turn. Troopers arranged for the driver to be transported to the hospital with a fractured back and pelvis and broken ribs.

Investigators at the scene used evidence to determine the other vehicle was a Ford F-250. Louisiana State Troopers checked with dealerships and repair shops regarding similar vehicles under repair. They found a Ford F-250 at a car dealership in Sulphur with damage that matched what investigators indicated the accident would have caused.

Critics of agency suit claim it has no legal ground

In July 2013, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East filed suit against 97 companies alleging that the companies had damaged areas of the coast. Critics of the lawsuit cite concerns that it will cause gas and oil companies to decide against coming to the state or to leave it. Supporters of the lawsuit claim that, if the suit is stopped by pending legislation, the oil and gas industry will receive the message that it does not have to worry about being held liable for an accident that causes environmental damage.

State Governor Bobby Jindal has stated that the state should have a legal environment that is "fair and predictable," suggesting that the legal process may be stabilized by political interference. Other critics of the lawsuit include the head of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and Senator Robert Adley. The head of the oil and gas association has characterized the lawsuit as "abusive" and warned that these kinds of lawsuits are causing the loss of thousands of area jobs. Proponents of the suit, on the other hand, argue that political interference undercuts the judicial system in allowing the industry to operate without fear of legal accountability. They maintain that the suit properly reflects the state's authority to ensure that its natural resources are protected.

Levee authority claims Act 544 is invalid

Claiming that oil and gas companies caused major damage to sections of the coast that previously provided protection against storm surges, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East filed a lawsuit in July 2013. The defendants are 97 different companies. Recent reports suggest that the defendants are attempting to kill the lawsuit by citing a new state law.

Act 544 is apparently being cited by the companies in an attempt to have the claim dropped. However, the levee board has asked a federal judge to make a ruling on the act, suggesting that it is unconstitutional. Before the bill passed, there were concerns that it could limit the ability of local governments to file for claims against BP pertaining to the oil rig accident it was involved with in 2010. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law, but the levee board claims that the law was written sloppily.

Louisiana woman's family sues insurance company for fatal crash

According to a July 29 report, the family of a 35-year-old Louisiana woman who was killed in an alleged drunk driving accident has filed a lawsuit against the liable driver's insurance company. The lawsuit stated that the accident occurred on Interstate 10 near Cleary Avenue in Metairie on Jan. 19. The deceased woman was reportedly sitting in the passenger seat at the time the accident occurred.

The fatal wreck happened around 11 p.m. The driver of a 2004 Toyota Camry, a 31-year-old woman, was heading east on the interstate when she veered the vehicle into a concrete barrier on the left side of the roadway. The car then went across the eastbound lanes and struck a guardrail that was lining the right side of the interstate. The impact killed both women in the car.

GM may have known about defects several years prior to recall

Louisiana owners of General Motors' automobiles may be interested in a recent report that states rental companies told GM about potential defects as much as a decade prior to the 2014 recall. Among the problems reported, both Vanguard and Enterprise told GM about fatal Cobalt crashes where the airbags did not deploy. Files obtained by the report appear to show that GM knew about certain safety issues long before they took action.

Rental car companies used a large number of Cobalts because the cars were popular and inexpensive. However, manufacturing defects in the Cobalt have been blamed for stalling, sudden loss of braking and steering and inoperative airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also been in the hot seat for allegedly ignoring warning signs and failing to open an investigation into the potential flaws in both 2007 and 2010.

Motorcyclist dies from injuries following Louisiana crash

A motorcyclist who was struck by a car in Shreveport on July 18 later died at the hospital from his injuries, authorities said. The accident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. on E. Flournoy Lucas Road near the intersection with Ashley River Road.

According to the police report, the motorcyclist was apparently riding eastbound on a Honda CBR when he was struck by a Scion TC that was exiting the Twelve Oaks subdivision. He was thrown from his bike and then hit by a Lexus SUV.

Case against oil companies shifts focus to SB469

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East must contend with SB469, recently signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal, if it hopes to continue in its quest to hold oil and gas companies accountable for damage to wetlands. Supposedly, the new law strips the SLFPA-E of its authority to sue the companies. A former chair of the levee board, though, suggested that the law might be challenged in at least two ways.

First, the former chair highlighted a short phrase in the law. SB469 prohibits local government entities from suing for coastal zone damages related to oil, but "local government entity" is a precisely defined term that, according to the former chair, does not fit the SLFPA-E. Therefore, he said, the law may not actually prohibit the organization from suing.

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