Following the destruction of the roof of the Louisiana Superdome during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District and its insurers filed suit against RoofTech, who was a roofing consultant on the Superdome roofing project from 2000-2002, along with other subcontractors on the project, for the deficient design of the roof system. RoofTech’s professional liability insurer provided a defense under the terms of its policy. However, USF&G, RoofTech’s commercial general liability insurer, refused to provide RoofTech a defense based on the CGL policy’s professional services exclusion. RoofTech filed a third-party demand against USF&G for defense […]
Lance B. Williams and Briana E. Whetstone obtained a dismissal on behalf of MMDI, Inc. in a products liability matter based on the Eastern District Court of Louisiana’s lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff brought suit alleging MMDI was liable for personal injuries caused when a trailer’s handle came loose and struck him in the nose. The subject trailer was manufactured by MMDI in North Carolina and then sold to another North Carolina company and delivered to South Carolina. Federal Judge Carl J. Barbier dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against MMDI after agreeing that plaintiff failed to show that MMDI […]
Yvette Pacaccio v. Steven Hoover, et al. Motion for Summary Judgment granted on plaintiff’s premises liability claim. The trial court found no liability for adjoining property owner for catastrophic ATV accident which left a young man with severe and debilitating brain injuries. The accident occurred during graduation party on neighboring property. Plaintiff argued the adjoining landowners had garde over an ATV trail and failed to properly maintain the alleged trail. The court found no legal duty where the adjoining property owners did not host or supervise the party, did not own, control, or have custody of the parcel […]
Growing Patchwork of Biometric Privacy Laws Court lowers bar for standing, interpreting “aggrieved person” broadly
by Kristen L. Burge
Fingerprints, retinal scans, and facial recognition software offer additional security measures and efficiency for consumers. But unlike a password or barcode, biometric identifiers cannot be changed in the event of a breach. As businesses gravitate toward biometrics, states grapple with how best to protect individuals’ biometric privacy. Illinois was the first to enact a comprehensive framework regulating the collection, use storage, and disclosure of biometric information the Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA). To date, it is also the only biometric privacy statute to grant “aggrieved persons” a private cause of action. […]
A Solution in Search of a Problem: Discord Over Proposed Changes to Corporate Depositions
by Keith McDaniel & Kristen Burge
At some point, your corporate client will face a notice for a corporate deposition. Federal Rule 30(b)(6), which governs these depositions, is primed for its first substantive change in nearly 50 years. The proposed amendments will affect organizations of all sizes, in all industries, and in all aspects of litigation. Therefore, it is important to understand the implications of the rule and the potential opportunities to level the playing field should the amendment pass as expected. Read Article
On February 22, 2019, the U.S.D.C. for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of Unum Life Insurance Company of America in a suit for long-term disability benefits under an ERISA plan. The plaintiff, Anne Wittmann, was an attorney employed by Baker Donelson who claimed that she could not work due to pain and an inability to concentrate associated with fibromyalgia. Unum was represented by Lauren A. Welch of McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch LLC and Wittmann was represented by Rachel W. Wisdom of Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC.
Your Data Was Stolen, But Not Your Identity (Yet) by Kristen L. Burge
Cyberattack victims can sue data custodians despite not suffering actual identity theft. In determining the plaintiff’s standing, a growing majority of circuit courts now turn to the nature of stolen data to determine whether the victims experience a “substantial risk” of identity theft.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit joined the majority approach – followed by the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits – holding that victims alleging personal data theft, including medical identification numbers, […]
On December 4th, 2015 Special Olympics Louisiana held its annual “Over the Edge” fundraiser. Participants RAPPELED down 25 stories of NOLA’s Benson Tower, RODE in a helicopter and SWAT trained with Louisiana’s finest at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Training Facility. Devin Fadaol and Bartt Bourgeois participated in the activities for the firm; additionally, the firm manned several volunteer positions under the guidance of Shannon Hanken, the firm’s administrator and a Special Olympics Louisiana committee member. The firm is a regular sponsor of Special Olympics Louisiana and is proud of what […]