Jury Returns $4.2MM Verdict to Iberia Parish Rigger

A jury in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana-Lafayette Division returned a verdict of $4,271,300.00 to an Iberia Parish resident who was injured while working at a Cameron facility at the Port of Iberia. Jerome Moroux, partner at Broussard & David, LLC, was lead counsel for the plaintiff. This is the fourth consecutive seven or eight figure verdict by Broussard & David, LLC.

The plaintiff was an employee of a trucking company/contractor on the day of the accident. Plaintiff’s employer had been contracted by Cameron to assist Cameron in loading a 300,000 pound piece of equipment on to plaintiff’s employer’s transporter. The job was shared between the companies, with Cameron performing the crane lift and Cameron/plaintiff’s co-employees working on securing the load. At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was kneeling on the transporter and in the process of using a ratchet binder to secure the equipment to the transporter. While operating the binder, the ratchet binder came apart and plaintiff fell four feet to the ground. There was evidence that one of Cameron’s employees had handled the ratchet binder and given it to plaintiff’s co-employee before the accident.

Cameron denied liability completely, arguing that they had hired plaintiff’s employer to perform the work based on its experience and expertise; further, Cameron argued, that the failure of the ratchet binder was Bayard’s employer’s  fault—not Cameron’s. The evidence proved that Cameron actively participated in the job and was operating the crane while the accident happened. At trial, plaintiff offered expert and lay testimony confirming that, under both company and industry standards, the crane operator had several duties and responsibilities, including insuring that the proper tools for the job were examined before the job began and that the plaintiff’s employer performed and attended pre-job safety briefings. Secondly, Cameron failed to follow its own company rules with respect to pre-job planning. Plaintiff’s safety expert was Mr. Robert Borison.

Concerning damages, the plaintiff sustained a fractured left wrist in the fall and, after multiple surgeries, underwent a left wrist fusion. He also treated for depression and anxiety. Plaintiff’s past medical bills were approximately $175,000. Plaintiff offered the expert testimony of Drs. Cornelius Gorman and Shelly Savant who outlined plaintiff’s future loss of earning capacity and future care. Concerning his future vocational outlook, plaintiff offered evidence of his learning challenges and past experience in the performance of only Heavy Duty jobs.

Defendants did not offer one dollar before or during trial. Defendants further declined to attend a court-ordered settlement conference in person.

After a four day trial, the jury deliberated and rendered a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor for $4,271,300.00, placing 65% of the fault on Cameron. The judgment value to plaintiff, including interest, is over $3.3 million dollars.

Feel free to contact Broussard & David, LLC if you or a loved one need representation in a personal injury or wrongful death matter – (337) 233-2323 or www.justiceobtained.com.