Kuchler Polk Welcomes Darleene Peters

Kuchler Polk is pleased to announce that Darleene Peters has joined the firm as Senior Counsel. Darleene will leverage her prior experience of managing complex pharmaceuticals and medical device cases to the products and premise liability cases that Kuchler Polk defends for its clients. We are excited to have Darleene join our team.

Motion for Summary Judgment Win obo Oil Company

Monique M. Weiner and Mark E. Best won a motion for summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in a personal injury action filed against the owner of an offshore oil platform. The court agreed that the oil company owed no duty to the plaintiff and further, even if it had owed a duty, plaintiff could not show that the duty had been breached.

Multiple Motions for Summary Judgment Win

Monique M. Weiner and Mark E. Best won several motions for summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in consolidated lawsuits arising out of an emergency shutdown and release from a natural gas compressor station. The court dismissed the toxic exposure and property damage claims of numerous plaintiffs after agreeing that none could prove causation.

Jury Verdict in Favor of the Defense

Skylar Rudin assisted in obtaining a verdict in favor of a telecommunications company whose employee had an automobile accident with the plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged that her two-level lumbar surgery was necessitated by the accident. Our client stipulated to liability for the accident but not causation or damages.

The team obtained pre-trial orders limiting the testimony of each of plaintiffs’ three medical causation experts.

After a two-day trial in federal court, the jury deliberated for twenty-five minutes before returning a verdict finding that the accident did not cause plaintiff any injury and that it did not aggravate her preexisting medical spinal condition.

Major Win in N.O.R.M. Matter

Deb Kuchler was part of a multi-firm trial team representing a major petrochemical company in a thyroid cancer case involving alleged exposure to naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). A Jefferson Parish jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense.

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Summary Judgment Win

On March 8, 2013, after more than two years of discovery and pre-trial practice, Lee Ziffer secured summary judgment on behalf of two clients, an automobile manufacturer and a dealership, in a products liability wrongful death action. After extensive briefing and argument and in the face of aggressive opposition, the State District Court found that the claimants could not prove that a defect in the manufacturer’s and dealership’s products caused the Decedent’s personal injuries and death.

Opinion Obtained by the LA 4th Cir. Court of Appeals Reversing Orleans Verdict

On May 18, 2012, Janika Polk and Lee Ziffer obtained an opinion from the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal reversing an Orleans Parish trial judge’s ruling quashing our client’s subpoena to the Johns Manville Asbestos Settlement Trust. In what is the first Louisiana appellate opinion on the matter, the Fourth Circuit found that contrary to the plaintiff’s arguments and the trial court’s determination, defendants are entitled to discover a plaintiff’s submissions to an asbestos bankruptcy trust and that those submissions are not protected by any recognized privilege under Louisiana law.

Another Motion for Summary Judgment Victory

Michele Hale DeShazo and team obtained a Motion for Summary Judgment for a heavy equipment manufacturer. The Court determined that the bucket truck at issue was not a defective product as a matter of law. Plaintiffs alleged that the manufacturer was the successor for purposes of liability relative to a prior company. After extensive discovery and briefing on the issue, the Louisiana State District Court granted the Defendant Manufacturer’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiffs’ claims for personal injuries in the product liability matter.