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.
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.
Robert Guidry has been promoted to partner.
Deb Kuchler was elected a Director of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”) at the annual meeting in Williamsburg, VA where she and her husband, John, served as convention chairs.
Janika Polk spoke at Louisiana’s 3rd Annual Women’s Conference.
Michele Hale DeShazo served as lead trial counsel in a prescription trial in Louisiana state court involving claims of exposure to Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM). The claims were dismissed with prejudice by the Court at the close of the trial.
Michele Hale DeShazo’s article, “November Midterm Elections May Dramatically Alter Federal Legislation,” was recently published in the November issue of the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) publication, The Whisper.
Monique Weiner’s appellate briefing, and preparation of the defense at the trial court level, resulted in the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in Keri Richard v. DuPont Company. After her termination, the plaintiff claimed that she was disabled under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and that DuPont had failed to accommodate her disability, resulting in a discrimination and wrongful termination claim. She also alleged that she was discriminated against because of her gender and her pregnancy. The trial court granted summary judgment as to all claims, and the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal, finding that no genuine issues of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff was disabled under the ADA, or whether she had proved pretext for the gender discrimination claim. The unpublished opinion can be located at 2010 WL 3852347 (C.A.5 (La.) 2010).