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On August 5, 2022, a Western District of Louisiana jury awarded $3,000,000 in a rural tractor-trailer crash and assigned 100% liability to US Xpress and its driver. 

On February 14, 2018, a scaffolder was on his way to work early in the morning fog on U.S. 190 approaching the intersection of inferior LA 26. At the same time, an 18-wheeler was stopped at the stop sign on LA 26 waiting on another vehicle to pass on U.S. 190. However, as plaintiff approached the intersection, the truck pulled out directly in front of plaintiff, blocked his lane of travel, and caused plaintiff to slam into the trailer near the rear tandem wheels. US Xpress alleged that the plaintiff was speeding, inattentive, and failed to brake timely. 

Plaintiff suffered a severe cut to his right, little finger that led to amputation of the finger. Plaintiff underwent surgeries to his right finger, neck, and back, and continues to suffer from headaches and associated psychological injury. 

Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, November 6. Many of us look forward to this time of year and are welcome to the idea of gaining an extra hour of sleep. It may seem like Daylight Savings only affects our sleep schedule and the sun going down earlier, but studies have shown there’s more to it than that. 

Studies have shown a direct correlation between the time shift and motor vehicle crashes. In March, we lose an hour of sleep. Our sleeping patterns are disrupted, leading to many drowsy drivers getting on the road for their daily commute. Though we gain an hour of sleep come November, there are still legitimate risks that come with it.  

Daylight Savings Time ending means it gets dark outside earlier, which limits visibility during our typical afternoon or evening commute home. This increases the risk that drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians will be involved in an accident. 

The U.S. Coast Guard received a call at 6:35 P.M. on Wednesday from Westwind Helicopter Inc. personnel confirming a company helicopter crashed into the Gulf with three people aboard. The crash occurred 46 miles offshore near Morgan City.

The Coast Guard District Eight watchstanders coordinated the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew and diverted an Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew to assist. The Jayhawk aircrew arrived and found two crewmembers hanging onto life rafts. These two crewmembers were hoisted from the water. The body of a deceased third crewmember was found in the fuselage of the submerged helicopter.

The two surviving crewmembers were transferred to University Medical Center New Orleans and were last reported to be in critical condition. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

On September 12, 2022, the Department of Interior announced a new proposed rule to ensure offshore oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf are conducted with the utmost safety and oversight standards. This proposed rule builds on reformed instituted by the Department since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy that killed 11 offshore workers and caused billions of dollars of damages.

Following the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement adopted several recommendations from multiple investigative teams to improve the overall safety of offshore energy operation. The BSEE Director Kevin M. Sligh Sr. says the proposed revisions “will protect workers’’ lives and the environment from the potentially devastating effects of blowouts and offshore oil spills.”

To further protect human lives and the environment, the Department is proposing revisions that would:

The school year is now in full swing and it is important as drivers to continue to practicing safe driving, especially when children are involved.

On Thursday, September 29, a tow truck crashed into a school bus carrying 27 children in St. Landry Parish, causing two children to be airlifted to the hospital and two others taken by ambulance. Children were exiting the bus when the tow truck crashed into the rear of the bus. In order to prevent incidents like this from happening again, it is crucial to remember Louisiana’s laws and procedures when driving near a school bus.

In Louisiana, the law states the driver of a vehicle coming upon a stopped school bus and red lights are flashing must stop no less than 30 feet away from the school bus and shall not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer activated.

In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed SB435 into law, which provided that safety measures, including camera safety devices, will be installed on the Basin Bridge as a measure to reduce safety risks.

The new law went into effect on August 1, 2022 and will be implemented in three phases:

  1. Phase one began with crews installing “Higher Fines” and “Safety Corridor” signs to warn drivers of the changes. Also, as of August 1, 2022, fines are doubled for those speeding. This means those speeding may face fines as high as $350.

Partner Richard Broussard was presented the President’s Award by the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ) President Blake David on September 23 at the LAJ Fall Conference in New Orleans.

The President’s Award is presented annually to LAJ members who have provided outstanding and highly dedicated service to the legal profession.

Within the Louisiana Association for Justice, Mr. Broussard served on the Board of Governors from 1983-1986 and on the Executive Committee from 1996-1997.

On August 10, 2022, a comprehensive bipartisan bill was signed into law, allowing veterans, family members, and others who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune (North Carolina) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, to recover for illnesses caused by water contamination. This includes those who have already gone to the VA for benefits.

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune was caused by the waste disposal practices of an outside dry-cleaning establishment, as well as leaking underground storage tanks, waste disposal sites, and industrial area spills. The water plants were contaminated by PCE, TCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride.

To be eligible to file a claim, you or a loved one must have lived, worked, or have been otherwise present at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1937 and developed some type of physical harm due to the base’s contaminated water. Individuals who are eligible to file a claim include veterans, civilian workers, contractors, and family members of veterans, as well as those who were in the womb at the time and exposed in utero.

Attorney Derek Aswell recently wrapped up his term with the Lafayette Bar Association as Young Lawyer Section Chair.

The Young Lawyers Section is a section of the Lafayette Bar composed of attorney members who are either under the age of 40 or who have been practicing law for five years or fewer. Members are dedicated to providing community service in Lafayette Parish. This is an active organization that sponsors several worthwhile programs that take place in the community, such as: Regional Mock Trial allows high school students to study a case, present it from both the plaintiff’s and the defense’s sides, and act out the trial in a real courtroom setting; and the Holiday Giving Program is an annual fundraiser to support local charities during Christmas.

Along with these programs, Young Lawyer Section members are active in the Lafayette Bar Foundation’s pro-bono efforts that benefit the underprivileged members of the Lafayette community. They volunteer their time to accept Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers’ cases, to assist with the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.) Program, and represent victims of domestic violence in Protective Order hearings through the Protective Order Panel.

Labor Day weekend is the last chance many people have to vacation and travel before the fall. Whether traveling to the beach or enjoying a weekend by the pool, it is important to keep in mind some basic safety measures. Over this long weekend, Broussard, David & Moroux has a few tips to keep you and your family safe while having fun:

  1. If you are spending a weekend by the pool, remember to monitor children in and around the water and provide inexperienced swimmers with a floating device. Also, be mindful of water depth before diving.
  2. If you are spending the day outdoors in the heat, remember to drink plenty of fluids and wear sunscreen.