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Judge rules he does have authority to hear case against LHSAA

Sunday, September 13, 2014

A Baton Rouge state judge threw the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for a loss Friday and ruled he does have the authority to preside over a lawsuit that claims the LHSAA misapplied its transfer rules when it declared a Livonia High School freshman ineligible earlier this year.

LHSAA attorney Bradley Lewis had asked District Judge Todd Hernandez during a hearing Friday morning to throw out the suit on several grounds, including that the judge lacked subject matter jurisdiction to, as Lewis put it, interfere in the internal affairs of the private corporation. Hernandez rejected that argument later in the day in a short written ruling.

LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson declined comment on the judge’s decision or on the possibility of an appeal.

Hernandez, who hinted during the hearing that he expected an appeal, set an Oct. 28 trial date.

“Maybe now this young man can finally have his day in court to prove the baselessness of the LHSAA ruling,” Rob Marionneaux, an attorney for the student and his mother, Tessie Mouton, said after learning of the judge’s decision.

Carroll Devillier, who also represents the mother and son, argued during the hearing that the LHSAA trampled on the student’s constitutional rights when it declared him ineligible for athletic competition earlier this year.

Lewis repeatedly referred to the LHSAA’s private status and said the decision of the association’s executive committee is final.

“This is still America that we live in. There have to be checks and balances,” Devillier told the judge. “It’s shocking to me that the LHSAA is taking this position and standing behind it. The LHSAA has its head buried in the sand.”

The LHSAA earlier this year declared the then-freshman ineligible because of an alleged violation of the association’s transfer rules and ordered Livonia to forfeit 18 baseball games and seven football games in which the ninth-grader played in 2013-14.

The LHSAA also required the student to sit out seven football games and 18 baseball games in 2014-15.

Devillier argued the transfer rules aren’t supposed to apply to incoming freshmen.

Marionneaux earlier this year distributed a document that included statements Henderson made during a deposition regarding a pending lawsuit in the Lake Charles area. When asked about transfer students, Henderson states in the deposition, “now if you’re a ninth-grader entering the first year, we do not consider you a transfer.”

The football sanctions against Livonia for 2013-14 included returning the 3A runner-up trophy the school won as well as gate receipts from three playoff games.

Pointe Coupee Parish School Board attorney Danielle Boudreaux said during Friday’s hearing that those gate receipts totaled some $20,000. She called the ordered return of the receipts “a taking of public funds.”

The forfeited 2013-14 baseball games initially caused Livonia to be left out of the Class 3A baseball playoffs, but Hernandez — in the suit filed by the parents of six seniors and the freshman — ordered the LHSAA in May to insert the team into the bracket, even though the tournament had already begun. The Livonia freshman was not allowed to play. Livonia won its first game but lost its next.

Mouton and her son’s biological father were never married, according to the suit, and never filed any custody proceedings in any court regarding his custody arrangement.

The suit said Mouton and her son live with her niece in the Pointe Coupee Parish town of Livonia. The mother and son previously lived with several family members, all in Livonia and the outlying area, the suit states.

The student attended seventh and eighth grades at Opelousas Catholic High School in St. Landry Parish, which is not in the same parish or attendance zone as Livonia High. Mouton drove him back and forth from Livonia to Opelousas while he was enrolled at Opelousas Catholic.

“Due to the difficulty of transporting her son … family hardships, financial constraints and other economic burdens, Mrs. Mouton chose to enroll (her son) in the public school located less than one half mile from her residence for the start of his ninth grade school term,” the suit says.

The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled in early 2013 that the LHSAA is a private corporation that is not subject to the Open Meetings Law and cannot be audited by the state.

For more info, see here.  


Case: Al Rubaee v. Acadian Redi Mix

Sunday, August 3, 2014

After four days of testimony, a St. Martin Parish jury has returned a multi-million dollar verdict.

Plaintiff, born in Iraq, who became an interpreter for the Allied forces during the conflict, was hit from the rear by an Acadian Redi Mix concrete truck.

The accident caused plaintiff, a 56 year old male, to suffer spinal injuries resulting in a three-level lumbar fusion as well as a single-level cervical fusion. His treating physician, Dr. Louis Blanda, has also recommended bi-lateral carpal tunnel surgery.

The jury of four women and eight men cast Acadian Redi Mix with 100% of the fault in causing the incident.

Plaintiff's counsel used video animations of the surgeries which plaintiff underwent to portray the nature and extent of the injuries.

Case Caption: Jamal Al Rubaee v. Acadian Redi Mix, et al, Suit Number 79,737 "B", St. Martin Parish.

Plaintiff's counsel included, Robert M. Marionneaux, Derrick "Digger" Earles and David Laborde of Laborde Lawfirm.

Plaintiff's experts: Dr. Louis Blanda, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Glenn Hebert, vocation rehabilitation, and Dr. G. Randolph Rice, economics.

For more info, see here.  


Case: Dauzat v. Fuqua

Friday, August 1, 2014

Marksville, La. - Only 8 days before the start of a scheduled week long Avoyelles Parish jury trial defendants agree to a settlement in the amount of $2,100,000.00.

The plaintiff, a 43 year old laborer in the course of his employment was injured in a motor vehicle accident on January 26, 2012. Plaintiff had undergone a 3 level posterior lumbar fusion and a 2 level cervical fusion as a result of the injuries sustained in the subject accident.

Mr. Dauzat had incurred more than $250,000.00 in medical expenses, and had missed 30 months of work as a result of his injuries. Though the defendants lost a Motion for Summary Judgment as to liability, they strenuously contested causation of the injuries..

Plaintiff's counsel Brian Caubarreaux and Rob Marionneaux were prepared for trial with several computer simulations of the surgeries to assist Dr. Louis Blanda and Dr. Daniel Hodges in explaining to the jury the types of surgeries Mr. Dauzat had undergone.

“A great client, and the truth - equals success! A special thanks to the court and the jury for their commitment to our system of justice,” were the comments offered by Mr. Dauzat’s counsel, Brian Caubarreaux.

Case Caption: Scotty Dauzat, et al vs. Darren Fuqua, et al
District: 12th JDC (Avoyelles Parish)
Suit Number: 2012-8128 "A"
Plaintiff's Counsel: Brian Caubarreaux, Robert M. Marionneaux, Jr. and Emily Meche of Brian Caubarreaux & Associates, Marksville
Plaintiff Expert: Dr. Daniel Hodges, Dr. Louis Blanda-Lafayette Bone and Joint Clinic - Lafayette, La.), Ted Deshotel-Vocational Rehabilation, Dr. Randolph Rice- Econimist.
Defense Counsel: Gary Kraus, Onebane Law Firm-Lafayette

For more info, see here.  


Case: Bordelon and Mayeun v. Cutting Edge Judgement

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This matter came for trial before a jury beginning on Monday, April 7, 2014, and continued through Tuesday, April 8, 2014.


IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that CUTTING EDGE, CMHC, INC., AND LEONA HAYES, is hereby cast for Judgment of the below mentioned amounts plus judicial interest on those sums from the date of judicial demand and court costs.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED, that there be final judgment rendered herein in favor of plaintiff, GENE BORDELON, in the amount of TWO MILLION THREE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS AND 00/100 ($2,325,000.00), plus judicial interest and court cost from the date of judicial demand.

For more info, see here.  

Case: Armand v. Prof. Wireline Rentals

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Off-Ramp Collision Nets $1 Million Dollar Settlement

Plaintiff was hit from the rear by a commercial vehicle as she exited from an I-10 exit ramp in Gonzales, Louisiana. The defendant driver was an employee of Professional Wireline Rentals, a company owned by Haliburton, Inc., and in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident.

Plaintiff’s asserted a Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of Liability which was granted by the trial court.

The accident caused plaintiff, a 28 year old female, to suffer spinal injuries including a thoracic burst fracture and herniated disc resulting in a single level lumbar fusion. There was a possibility of a future surgery to expand the fusion to three levels.

The case settled for $1,000,000.00 five (5) days prior to the scheduled jury trial before Judge Jessie LeBlanc.

Armand, et al v. Professional Wireline Rentals, et al, No. 100,891-D, 23rd JDC, Ascension Parish, 3/14.
Plaintiffs’ counsel: Brian M. Caubarreaux, Robert M. Marionneaux, and Emily G. Meche of Brian Caubarreaux and Associates, Marksville.
Plaintiffs’ experts: Dr. Louis Blanda, Dr. Neal Gorman, Dr. Shelly Savant and Dr. G. Randolph Rice.

For more info, see here.  

Article from: The Westside Journal

Thursday, September 26, 2013

After a week long trial a West Baton Rouge Parish jury rendered a $1,255,000.00 Million dollar verdict to former BASF operator, Mike Edmond, who sustained severe injuries when an 18 wheeler attempting to leave Cash's truck stop pulled into the path of the oncoming Edmond Vehicle.

On March 10, 2010, Sherbaston Wilson, an employee of Jowin Express, Inc., the operator of an 18 wheeler attempted to turn left onto La. Hwy. 415, when he then realized traffic was coming from the north, prompting him to stop in the roadway with the trailer of his rig across 2 lanes of traffic. Edmond, able to see oncoming lights beneath the trailer, never realized the immediate danger. His 2009 GMC pickup slammed into the rear of the trailer.

The jury found Wilson and Jowin Trucking Company 95% at fault in causing the incident. Edmond sustained injuries to his lower back which will require a future fusion surgery. He had incurred substantial medical expenses, and will be unable to return to work as a chemical plant operator.

Edmond was represented by Rob Marionneaux Digger Earles, Natasia Benoit and Lori Brown. Testifying experts included Dr. Kelly Scrantz, Dr. Allen Johnston, Dr. Pat Culbertson (economist) and Stephanie Chalphin (vocational rehabilitation.)  

Article from: The Marksville Weekly News

Thursday, December 13, 2012

After four days of testimony during the week of November 26 to 30, an avoyelles Parish 12-member jury rendered a $1.7 million award to a Cottonport woman recently. The award may be the largest ever in an injury case for Avoyelles Parish.

The Woman was a passenger in a vehicle that hit a log truck and killed the driver of the car in which she was riding The case was heard by 12th Judicial Court Judge Mark Jeansome.

Jennifer Mose of Cottonport, age 20 at the time of the accident, sustained severe injuries in an automobile accident which occurred on La. Highway 1 on April 13, 2010 at 4:15 p.m. Mose's injuries included two fractures to her spine. She incurred $163,000 in medical expenses.

According to testimony at the trial, Ernest Griffin, an employee of GR &D Logging and the operator of the 18-wheeler log truck involved in the accident, attempted to turn left from La. Highway 1 onto Gauthier Lane near Simmesport.

At that same time, Erica Billiot, age 27 of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, with Jennifer Mose as her passenger, was attempting to pass several cars behind the log truck in her 2007 Toyota Tundra, at a high rate of speed when Griffin turned in front of her car.

Both Billiot and Mose were ejected and Billiot was killed. Griffin was not hurt in the accident. Mose was taken to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge for treatment and recovery from her injuries.

The jury found Griffin to be 49 percent at fault and Billiot 51 percent at fault.

Mose was represented by Digger Earles, Brian Caubarreaux, and Rob Marionneaux. Testifying experts for the plaintiffs included Mike Gillen (accident reconstruction), Glenn Hebert (vocational rehabilitation), Darrell Henderson (plastic surgeon) and Dr. Randy Rice (economist).

Each day of the trial, proceedings ran very late into the evening, including 11:45 p.m. one night. The jury returned a verdict at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30 with the $1.7 million judgment in favor of Mose.

Earles said the people in the courthouse told him the judgment is the largest amount awarded in recent history in Avoyelles Parish and is believed to be the largest wrongful injury verdict ever for Avoyelles Parish. There may have been larger awards for a wrongful death case.

"I am very pleased for Mose after receiving this verdict," attorney Digger Earles said. "I do not feel the verdict will be appealed."

Earles said it was a tough case as the defense attorneys representing both drivers tried to place blame on each driver. Earles feels the jury got the verdict exactly right by holding both drivers responsible.

According to Earles, Mose continues to receive treatment for her injuries. Earles did not know if or when she could live a normal lifestyle.
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