Archive | December, 2005

Bienemy v. Plaquemines Parish

Bienemy v. Plaquemines Parish
(March 2005)

Bienemy v. Plaquemines Parish, Plaquemines Parish Civil Service Commission. This was a federal court case wherein plaintiff alleged race and age discrimination in the failure of the Parish to hire/promote him to the position of Superintendent of the Waste Management department.  The firm’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss parts of the case which was granted and then subsequently the court granted our motion for summary judgement dismissing the remainder of the plaintiff’s case.

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Summary Judgment Granted in Asbestos Case

Summary Judgment Granted in Asbestos Case
(February 2005)

McCranie Sistrunk Attorneys prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in the 4th Judicial District court, State of Louisiana, on behalf of the Mead Corp. in a Mesothelioma case brought against several paper manufacturer and others.

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Surilla Ott, Gwenn Barze v. Families Helping Families and the State of Louisiana

Surilla Ott, Gwenn Barze v. Families Helping Families and the State of Louisiana
(February 2005)

Surilla Ott, Gwenn Barze v. Families Helping Families and the State of Louisiana, CDC, the firm won a motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ race discrimination case. The plaintiffs have filed a devolutive appeal.

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Crystal Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America

Crystal Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America
(February 2005)

Lauren A. Welch won a victory in favor of UNUM Life Insurance Company of America in the case entitled Crystal Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana.

The long-term disability (LTD) policy issued by UNUM had a definition of “disabled” that was divided into two phases: (1) the first twenty-four months of payments, which considered the insured’s ability to perform the material and substantial duties of her regular occupation; and (2) after the first twenty-four months, which considered the insured’s ability to perform the duties of any gainful occupation for which she was reasonably fitted by education, training or experience. UNUM paid LTD benefits to the plaintiff for the first twenty-fours months of impairment, under the “regular occupation” phase of the policy’s definition of disabled and terminated benefits thereafter, under the “any gainful occupation” phase of the definition. The District Court noted that UNUM’s transferable skills analysis identified sedentary occupations for the plaintiff and that the plaintiff presented no evidence that she was incapable of performing said occupations. The District Court held that, despite the fact that the plaintiff’s treating physicians had indicated that she could not work in any capacity, UNUM’s in-house physicians and vocational rehabilitation staff disagreed and concluded that, based upon the evidence in the administrative record, the plaintiff could perform sedentary work. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of UNUM and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims, with prejudice.

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Creative Soft Solutions, LLC v. Soaring Eagle, Ltd.

Creative Soft Solutions, LLC v. Soaring Eagle, Ltd.
(February 2005)

Kyle P. Kirsch won a victory in favor of Soaring Eagle in a case entitled Creative Soft Solutions, LLC v. Soaring Eagle Consulting, Ltd., Docket # 03-2874, before United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, District Judge Carl J. Barbier. The case involved a time and materials contract in which Soraing Eagle was to develop a state of the art software for the plaintiff. Creative Soft Solutions, LLC brought suit against Soaring Eagle for deceptive trade practices and breach of contract. Soaring Eagle brought a counterclaim against Creative Soft Solutions under Louisiana’s open account statute for failure to pay its invoices. The court after a trial on the merits dismissed Creative Soft Solutions, LLC’s claims against Soaring Eagle Consulting, Ltd. and rendered a judgment in favor of Soaring Eagle Consulting, Ltd. on its counterclaim awarding Soaring Eagle $200,797.02, plus interest, court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

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Parish v. Harry Lee, et al.

Parish v. Harry Lee, et al.
(January 2005)

Thomas P. Anzelmo and Kyle P. Kirsch obtained a dismissal of plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. §1983 claims against Jefferson Community Correctional Center Medical Program, Dr. Joseph Hambrick Dr. Richard Richoux, Dr. Lawrence Durante, and Miriam Schultz. Plaintiff claimed that defendants’ denied him medical care in violation of his constitutional rights and sought $500,000.00 in damages. The trial court dismissed plaintiff’s claims against all defendants, but Ms. Schultz, on pre-trial motions. After trial, the court granted defendants’ post trial motion dismissing plaintiff’s remaining claims against Ms. Schultz based on the fact that plaintiff had not proven Ms. Schultz had any knowledge that plaintiff was being denied or receiving inadequate medical care. The court also found that plaintiff had failed to prove physical harm as a result of any of Ms. Schultz’s alleged actions or inactions.

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Carl Hooper v Lockheed Martin

Carl Hooper v Lockheed Martin
(January 2005)

McCranie Sistrunk Attorneys won a Motion for Summary Judgment in favor of Lockheed Martin dismissing Hooper’s claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, retaliation and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the case entitled Carl Hooper v. Lockheed Martin in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In January, 2005 the US Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court decision in our favor.

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Gloria Jean Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America

Gloria Jean Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America
(January 2005)

Lauren A. Welch won a victory (January 2005) in favor of UNUM Life Insurance Company of America in the case entitled Gloria Jean Williams v. UNUM Life Insurance Company of America, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana.

The long-term disability (LTD) policy issued by UNUM provided that an insured would be determined disabled if she was limited from performing the material and substantial duties of her regular occupation due to sickness or injury. The LTD Plan defined “Regular Occupation” to be the occupation as it was normally performed in the national economy, instead of how the work tasks were performed for a specific employer or at a specific location. The District Court held that, despite the 50 pound lifting requirement of plaintiff’s occupation with her specific employer, her occupation as performed in the national economy did not require such lifting. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of UNUM and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims, with prejudice.

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Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission v. Olivier, et al.

Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission v. Olivier, et al.
(January 2005)

Thomas P. Anzelmo, Burgess McCranie and Kyle P. Kirsch brought suit on behalf of the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission seeking a writ of mandamus to require the judges of First Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson to enforce La. R.S. 32:57(G). In response to the mandamus action the judges challenged the constitutionality of La. R.S. 32:57(G). The trial court initially determined that the judges had standing to challenge the constitutionality of the statute and found it to be unconstitutional. On appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court determined that the judges lacked standing to challenge the statute and vacated the trial court’s ruling. Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission v. Olivier, 2005 WL 106498 (La. 2005). After the Louisiana Supreme Court rendered its decision the judges issued an order requiring the imposition of the cost mandated by La. R.S. 32:57(G).

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