Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

A Gonzales man is being charged with negligent homicide over the death of a Baton Rouge high school freshman last Wednesday.

On December 9, Brennan Rube, 14 years old of Prairieville, was bicycling on LA-73  when he was struck by a 2000 Dodge truck driven by Joshua Ashford, 26-years-old of Gonzales.  The force of impact flung Rube from his bicycle.  He was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene.  The crash happened around 6 p.m., according to Louisiana State Police.

Both vehicles were traveling in the same direction and Rube was struck by the front right side of Ashford’s truck.  According to the police report, Ashford was speeding on a road with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour.  Police do not suspect Ashford of being impaired at the time of the accident, however a routine toxicology test is pending.

A three-vehicle crash in Delcambre resulted the death of an uncle and nephew from Abbeville, according to police reports.

On November 26, 2015, Jones Mitchell and Gerald Mitchell were traveling west on Suzuki motorcycles on LA 14 and approaching an east-west crossover.  An 18-wheeler, driven by Earnest Comesana Jr.,  was traveling east on LA 14 and approaching the same crossover.   Comesana turned left into the crossover to begin traveling east and the Mitchells were unable to avoid colliding with Comesana’s trailer as it entered their lane of travel.

Although the Mitchell’s were wearing Department of Transportation-approved helmets, both received fatal injuries as a result of the collision and were pronounced dead at the scene by the Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office.  Comensana was properly restrained at the time of the crash and received no injuries.

Failure to obey a stop sign and suspected driving under the influence has lead to the death of a Ventress man last Friday.

Louisiana State Police has not completed its investigation, but according to initial findings, 27-year-old Nicholas Porche was driving westbound on Section Road in a white Sierra while Michael Holmes, 53-years-old of Ventress, was driving south on Beuche Road in a red F-150 around 5:30 on Friday, November 20.  The crash took place at the intersection of both roads near Erwinville.

According to officials, Porche ran the stop sign at the intersection of Beuche and Section, causing the accident.  Holmes was pronounced dead at the scene by the West Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office.  Porche was wearing his seat belt at the time and received minor injuries, but refused aid.

Another lawsuit has arisen from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, this time stemming from the cleanup of the aforementioned accident.

Josip Piacun filed a complaint against BP Exploration & Production Inc., and B.P. America Production Co. alleging gross negligence under general maritime law.  Piacun claimed that the company negligently exposed him to hazardous and cancer-causing compounds.

Piacun was hired as a vessel captain in April 20, 2010, in response to the BP oil spill.  While he was employed from June 2010 to December 2010, Piacun claims BP negligently exposed him to dermal and airborne chemical compounds that are generally accepted to be toxic, volatile, and carcinogenic.  The suit states that, as a result of this exposure, Piacun “developed psychological, dermal, respiratory, and cardiopulmonary complications.”

A drunk driver that caused an accident which lead to a man’s death was sentenced in Calcasieu Parish last Wednesday.

On September 27, 2014, Derek Paul Cooper was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-10 in the Sulphur area.  He had a blood alcohol level of .24, three times the legal limit.  He collided with a car driven by Jeremy Olivier, age thirty-one, who died as a result.

At Cooper’s sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Ron Ware ordered Cooper to 18 years in prison, with three years suspended and credit for time served.  Judge Ware also ordered that the first five years of the sentence be served without benefit of probation, suspension, or parole.  Cooper will be on supervised parole for 2 years following his release.

Blake David

Blake David of Broussard & David, LLC, Lafayette, was recently named Maritime Section Chair for the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ). The Maritime Section of this legal group concerns itself with improving the skill and knowledge of lawyers who represent workers injured in offshore accidents so that their families receive fair compensation from negligent parties and their insurers. The Maritime Section is one of LAJ’s larger sections, due to the increased industrial activity in Louisiana state waterways, rivers, canals, marshes and also given Louisiana’s proximity to work performed offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and the Outer Continental Shelf.

Mr. David has 14 years of experience practicing maritime and admiralty law. His area of practice focuses on personal injury and wrongful death litigation with an emphasis on offshore/maritime, trucking accident, aviation, products liability, industrial accident, and automobile claims. He speaks annually at the Louisiana State Bar Association Admiralty Symposium and is frequently invited to address attorney organizations around the state.

Mr. David was raised in Lafayette and is a founding partner of Broussard & David, LLC. He is the past president of the Lafayette Bar Association, past president of the American Inn of Court of Acadiana, and founding board member and past president of the Federal Bar Association’s Lafayette Chapter. Mr. David is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and recognized by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2012-2016), National Trial Lawyers (2012-2016) and National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which is awarded to the nation’s top one percent of attorneys (2015).

 

A boating incident between a recreational boat and an oilfield crew boat resulted in one fatality and left two others injured in Cameron Parish last Thursday.

Wildlife and Fisheries reported that the accident occurred around 8 a.m. on October 8th.  The oilfield crew boat, which was carrying two, and the other boat carrying a family of three collided in a curve in a canal in Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge.

The family, a father and his two adult sons, were flung from their boat by the impact.  They were pulled from the water by the members of the crew boat who then docked at a nearby landing and contacted an ambulance.

Up to four people have been left dead and two injured after an explosion occurred at Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, a Williams Partners’ subsidiary, on Bayou Black Drive in Terrebonne Parish.

After the explosion occurred at 11 a.m. on October 8th, 2015, it was initially reported that the 13 employees stationed at the facility were uninjured and accounted for.  Four contractors who were performing scheduled maintenance at the facility are being treated for injuries sustained as a result of the incident, the severity of which is unknown at this time.

However, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff on the scene Jerry Larpenter reported that he believed at least believed three people were dead at the plant and one other worker had died at the hospital after being recovered by hazmat teams from the site.  The hazmat suits are required due to the heat remaining at the explosion site.  Two other individuals suffered serious injuries.

A Louisiana woman is suing an out-of-state trucking company, and its employee over injuries sustained in a two-vehicle incident occurring last year.

Diamond Virgil filed suit against Merrill G. Bush, McLane Trucking, Inc., his employer, and the Insurance Company of Pennsylvania for injuries allegedly sustained as a result of the defendants’ negligence.

Virgil’s complaint states that she was driving eastbound on LA-48 on September 26, 2014, and had stopped at a red light at the intersection of LA-48 and Williams Boulevard.  It was at this time that she was rear-ended by Bush’s vehicle, which struck with such force that it pushed Virgil’s vehicle into the intersection.

Related to an international hostage situation that occurred in 2011, Wren Thomas has brought suit against his then-employers, citing a blatant disregard for safety that to permanent and debilitating injuries.

In July of 2011, Thomas was employed collectively by Edison Chouest LLC, Galliano Marine Services, LLC, and Offshore and Service Vessels, LLC, as a captain and crew member of the American marine vessel C-Retriever to work off of the Nigerian coast, according to the complaint.

The suit posits that the trend of international piracy incidents involving the defendants’ vessels and crews should have caused the defendants’ to increase protection of its assets and employees in Nigerian waters.  Defendants’ allegedly failed to do so, despite numerous alleged incidents involving employees being set upon, maltreated and kidnapped.  Indeed, the suit states that Thomas expressed concerns to his employers about his vessel’s current status in regard to anti-piracy, citing the craft’s age, subpar speed, and somewhat outdated piracy measures.  According to the suit, Thomas, after expressing such concerns, received death threats, both veiled and direct, via the defendants’ radio system.

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