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Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. is proud to announce its recognition in the prestigious 2019 U.S. News –Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings for the metro area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the Plaintiff practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation (t1) and Product Liability Litigation (t2).  To be eligible, a law firm must have at least one attorney who is recognized in the current edition of Best Lawyers in a “Best Law Firms” ranked practice area / metro area.  Firm members  Kirk A. Guidry and B. Scott Andrews are recognized in the current edition in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Kirk is additionally recognized in the practice area of Product Litigation-Plaintiffs.

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Scott Andrews was recently selected by his peers for the fourth time for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Plaintiff Personal Injury.   Scott Andrews is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana injury law firm of Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., specializing in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases.

First published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation with nearly 87,000 industry leading lawyers from around the world eligible to vote.  For the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 7.8 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in almost 60,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

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Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. attorney Kirk A. Guidry was recently recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers as the 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs in the Baton Rouge area.

Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer review assessments.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

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If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to benefits through the workers’ compensation system. Although this process can be straightforward, when an individual suffers serious and complex injuries it can be very difficult to receive the medical treatment and reimbursement that you deserve. Our seasoned team of Louisiana work injury lawyers has seen firsthand just how critical it can be to have a dedicated legal professional on your side.

A recent appellate opinion discusses a situation in which a man suffered serious injuries in an elevator accident. The man worked for a public entity and earned weekly wages of $3,300. In 2011, he left his office on the eighth floor of the building at the end of the day and descended in the elevator. When it reached the third floor, it dropped suddenly and fell to the ground level. The impact was significant and the man suffered injuries to his knees, back, and hip.

The man underwent medical treatment, including an MRI that revealed serious injuries to these areas of his body. As a result of these injuries, he required bilateral knee surgery. Although he underwent significant treatment for his back injury, he was unable to manage the pain. He ultimately underwent surgery, but it was also unsuccessful. There were many additional medical treatments and tests that doctors performed related to the man’s injuries.

The man reported these treatments to the Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) and required approval for some of the surgeries. When the treating physicians recommended a second spinal surgery, the man again sought approval but the medical director at the OWC rejected coverage of the surgery. The man filed an appeal and the matter was assigned to an OWC judge. After a hearing on the issue, the judge dismissed the matter with prejudice and upheld the medical director’s decision.

The man appealed the decision, stating that the OWC judge erred by not allowing him to present new evidence to meet his burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that the medical director erred in refusing to approve the second surgery. The man also alleged that the medical director’s decision was not in accordance with the Medical Treatment Guidelines recognized by the State of Louisiana.

On review, the court of appeal sided with the man and determined that the reviewing judge should have allowed the man to present additional evidence regarding his need for the second surgery. The court remanded the action with instructions to the OWC judge to allow the man to present the additional evidence. According to Louisiana law, when a claimant challenges a medical director’s decision, the burden of proof that the claimant must satisfy is a heightened standard of clear and convincing evidence.

If you were injured at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Some personal injury accidents may implicate your work duties and it can be confusing to know whether to pursue legal action in a civil tort claim or a workers’ compensation claim. Our seasoned team of lawyers and legal professionals will guide you through the entire process and ensure that you understand the full scope and extent of your legal rights. To schedule your free consultation call us at 1-800-929-7481 or contact us online.

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Photo Credit: designer491 / Shutterstock.com

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There are many different ways that you can become injured on another person’s property, but one of the most common examples is a slip and fall incident. As seasoned Louisiana premises liability lawyers, we have helped many victims assert their right to compensation after a property owner failed to exercise appropriate care in keeping its premises safe.

In a recent appellate opinion, a plaintiff appealed from a motion dismissing his slip and fall personal injury lawsuit against a grocery store operator. According to his complaint, the plaintiff slipped on spilled rice in the supermarket. The defendant answered the complaint, denying the allegations, and later moved for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff had not proven that the defendant had actual notice or constructive notice that the rice had spilled. The defendant also contended that the record lacked any evidence that the defendant failed to use reasonable care.

The trial court conducted a hearing on the motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff filed a brief opposing the motion but did not attach any evidence or supporting affidavits. After the hearing, the trial court granted the motion, thereby dismissing the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the lower court erred in granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

On review, the appellate court examined the evidence in the record and concluded that the plaintiff failed to offer any evidence showing that he would be able to satisfy his burden of proof under the applicable Louisiana merchant liability statute governing constructive notice in slip and fall cases. Under Louisiana law, a merchant has constructive notice when the plaintiff proves that the dangerous condition existed for a long enough period of time that the defendant should have discovered it had it been exercising reasonable care. There is no bright line determination for how much time must pass. Instead, the plaintiff must show that the dangerous condition existed for some length of time before the slip and fall took place.

Even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, the evidence showed that there was likely only a 10-minute window during which the rice could have spilled onto the floor before the plaintiff slipped. The evidence showed that the floor was swept at 11:45 am and that the plaintiff slipped sometime around noon. The appellate court concluded that this was not a sufficient period of time to put the store operator on notice that the spill had occurred. The record also lacked any evidence that the defendant was aware of the spill and failed to address it. As a result of these conclusions, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit.

If you were injured on another person’s property as a result of a dangerous condition, contact our seasoned Louisiana premises liability lawyers today. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal rights and whether you may be entitled to compensation. Call us now at 1-800-929-7481 or contact us online to get started.

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Car accidents can happen almost anywhere and can involve a wide variety of persons, including individuals who are working at the time of the crash. No two car accidents are exactly the same, which is why it is critical to have an experienced Louisiana car accident lawyer on your side.

In a recent court case, the plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the driver of an ambulance, which was a company vehicle. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking compensation from the defendant for his injuries and expenses. According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to yield the right of way at a red light. In response to the complaint, the defendant alleged that he had engaged the ambulance’s lights and siren and that, according to Louisiana law, he had the right of way despite the red light. He relied on the emergency responder statute to argue that he was entitled to qualified immunity in the lawsuit and that as a result he could not be held liable.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, relying on the same statute. They cited the provision stating “the driver of an emergency vehicle can be held liable only if his conduct amounts to reckless disregard for the safety of others.” The trial court denied this motion, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. During this trial, the plaintiff was asked to explain what happened as he approached the intersection. He testified that he heard something, but he was not sure at the time whether or not it was an ambulance. He indicated that there was a large truck next to him coming to a stop but that he did not see anything, so he proceeded with the green light.

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Insurance policies can be extremely complicated. If you were involved in a car accident, it is important that you understand your rights and whether you are being treated fairly by your insurer and the other parties’ insurers. As seasoned Louisiana car accident lawyers, we have assisted many individuals with ensuring they receive the full amount of compensation they deserve.

In a recent appellate decision, the court considered whether a trial court appropriately denied an injured plaintiff’s claim for penalties and attorneys’ fees for her uninsured motorist (UM) policy insurer’s failure to provide an unconditional tender under the policy provisions of her insurance policy.   The plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of a rear-end collision while she was stopped at a red light. She filed a lawsuit, seeking damages against the drivers involved and the insurance companies that covered each of them. She also filed a lawsuit against her uninsured motorist (UM) policy provider, stating that her damages would exceed the coverage of the drivers who caused the accident.

As the matter proceeded, it was determined that the second vehicle behind the plaintiff was entirely at fault for the accident. She settled her lawsuit against the driver of this vehicle and his insurer for $50,000, which constituted the limits of his policy. She then dismissed her claims against them. She next dismissed her claims against the second driver, who was deemed not at fault for the accident.

The plaintiff next proceeded with her claims against her UM insurer and submitted copies of demand letters that she had provided, along with documentation showing her injuries and medical expenses. Evidence indicated that the insurer did not respond to the demands for policy coverage. The plaintiff then amended her claim to add a cause of action for statutory attorneys’ fees and penalties for the UM insurer’s failure to provide an unconditional tender despite proof that her injuries were in excess of the underlying policy limit involved.

The court granted a motion by the insurer, stating that the plaintiff waived her right to a jury trial because she did not post a jury bond. During a bench trial, the court determined that the plaintiff’s injuries were an aggravation of injuries she suffered in a prior car crash in 2008 and that the plaintiff was entitled to $3,314.37 in medical costs and $8,000 in general damages. The plaintiff requested a new trial, and the court denied the motion. Other motions followed, and eventually the plaintiff appealed.

The appellate court upheld the lower court’s judgment and rulings, finding that the insurer had no duty to provide coverage to the plaintiff until she was able to prove that her damages exceeded $50,000. The court also found that there was sufficient evidence in the record supporting the lower court’s finding that the plaintiff’s injuries constituted an aggravation of prior injuries.

If you were harmed in a car accident, it is critical that you speak to a Louisiana personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation. At Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C., our seasoned team of car crash lawyers is standing by to help you ensure that you are treated fairly by everyone involved in the process. To set up your free consultation, call us at 1-800-929-7481 or contact us online to get started.

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The Louisiana workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to individuals who are injured on the job or as a result of their job duties. In exchange for these benefits, workers give up their right to sue an employer in civil court for damages, except for a few very limited exceptions. As Louisiana work accident lawyers, we have substantial experience assisting people with determining whether their injury falls into one of these categories and whether they are limited to seeking recourse through the workers’ compensation system.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered the application of workers’ compensation rules to a minor who was injured. The employer was a party rental business that provides inflatable bounce houses and other items for social events. The injured minor was 15 years old at the time he suffered an injury while working for the employer. The employer classified the minor as a helper, and the minor testified during a proceeding that he was never informed that he would require a certificate to work for the employer because of his age. The minor’s job duties consisted primarily of cleaning and delivering the inflatables and picking them up from the rental locations.

According to the minor, he suffered an injury while a coworker was using a forklift to access one of the inflatables that was located on a pallet. The minor climbed on top of the inflatable to provide it with balance, while the coworker lowered the inflatable on the pallet by using the forklift. The minor testified that this was a normal practice. As the inflatable was being lowered, the minor fell to the ground, and the inflatable fell onto his back.

The minor received medical treatment for his injury, and the employer’s insurance carrier paid for the treatments, consisting of a weekly benefit payment and medical bill reimbursement. Eventually, the minor required surgery to install hardware in his foot to address several fractures, and a second surgery was required to remove the hardware.

The minor and his parent filed a lawsuit against the employer and its insurance company in addition to other involved parties, seeking compensation for the minor’s injuries and damages. The insurance carrier intervened and argued that since the minor had received benefits and medical expenses reimbursement, he was barred from filing a civil claim against the defendants seeking compensation. The case proceeded to a bench trial, and the court concluded that the minor was employed illegally with the company and engaged in illegal tasks. As a result, the lower court concluded that the plaintiffs were not limited to workers’ compensation as their sole remedy. The jury awarded compensation to the plaintiffs, and the defendant appealed.

On review, the appellate court reversed, finding that the exclusive remedy provision of Louisiana’s workers’ compensation statute applies to all persons, including minors who are legally or illegally employed.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury or another back injury in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. There are many different types of injuries that can give rise to a legal claim, and it can be confusing to fully understand the scope of your rights. Proudly serving accident victims and their families throughout Louisiana, we offer a free consultation to help you learn about your potential claim and whether we can assist you. Call us now at 1-800-929-7481 or contact us online.

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C. Scott Courrege

Dué Guidry Piedrahita Andrews L.C. proudly welcomes new associate attorney C. Scott Courrege.  After graduating #1 in his law school class, C. Scott Courrege was admitted to practice law in Louisiana on May 10, 2018.   He will work on various types of personal injury and wrongful death cases for the law firm with an emphasis on cases involving car wrecks, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents.

C. Scott Courrege attended the Southern University Law Center’s evening division program while working for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office. He was a Senior Editor for the Southern University Law Review, which published his article entitled, “Drugged Driving: How the Legalization of Marijuana Has Impaired the Ability of the Louisiana DWI Law.” C. Scott Courrege received Cali Awards for Excellence in Legal Writing I, Legal Research, Criminal Law, Legal Writing II, Obligations, Torts I, and Advanced Legal Writing.

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Multi-vehicle accidents can be some of the most complicated when it comes to asserting your right to compensation. As seasoned Louisiana car accident attorneys, we have the knowledge and experience it takes to ensure that you are treated fairly in a multi-car accident, especially when it comes to working with insurance companies.

In a recent case, the court of appeal discussed whether it was appropriate for the lower court to grant summary judgment in favor of two insurance companies. One of the parties involved was speeding along the interstate in an overweight dump truck when he failed to stop in time while approaching traffic on the highway. The truck was carrying clay for a construction project maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dump truck slammed into several other vehicles, and a 12-car pile-up resulted. There were many serious injuries that resulted from the crash and one fatality. According to the police officer who oversaw the scene of the accident, the dump truck driver was traveling roughly 70 miles per hour at the time of the crash, which was roughly 10 miles over the speed limit.

One of the injured victims and her spouse filed a personal injury claim against the truck driver and his sole proprietorship trucking business. The plaintiffs also filed a claim against the general contractor that was building a levee as part of the project. The parties engaged in discovery, and the general contractor eventually filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking dismissal from the lawsuit. The plaintiff countered this motion by providing evidence of contracts that displayed how the defendant driver was hired and involved in the project. The trial court entered a judgment in favor of the defendants, finding that they did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiffs to ensure that the truck driver and truck company were abiding by applicable weight rules provided by federal regulations. The plaintiffs appealed.

On review, the appellate court reversed, finding that there were genuine questions of fact regarding whether the general contractor owed a duty to the plaintiffs and whether its conduct was a causal factor in the harm that the plaintiffs suffered. Specifically, the court of appeal pointed to facts in the record indicating that the general contractor paid each truck driver based on the weight of the load and that it was common knowledge and practice that the trucks would be overloaded. The court also noted that there were substantial travel distances between the designated sites for sourcing the clay and the project construction site. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed the action for additional proceedings.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, our seasoned team of trial lawyers is standing by to ensure that you assert your right to compensation to the fullest extent possible. We have seen how devastating and stressful an accident can be for a victim and his or her family. With clients throughout Louisiana, we offer a free consultation to discuss your potential claim and how we can assist you. Call us now at 1-800-929-7481 or contact us online.

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