Category Archives: Uncategorized

Louisiana Supreme Court Adopts Time on the Risk Allocation for Defense Costs

In Arceneaux v. Amstar Corp, the Louisiana Supreme Court decided an important issue of first impression in Louisiana: whether the duty to defend in long latency disease cases may be prorated between insurer and insured during periods of self-insurance

Hull policy – Duty to Defend? No, says Judge Feldman

This insurance dispute arises from a marine allision involving multiple boats; one of which, sank. The P&I Underwriters insured L&L Marine Transportation under a protection and indemnity (P&I) policy. Atlantic Specialty also insures L&L, but under a hull and machinery policy. The sole question before the Court is whether Atlantic Specialty, under its hull policy, … Read More »

MEL Underwriter Can’t be an Interloper – Jones Act MEL Underwriter vs LHWCA Carrier

Plaintiff filed a lawsuit for injuries that he allegedly sustained working aboard a vessel. Plaintiff claimed he was a Jones Act seaman and filed suit against his employers, Nordic Underwater Services and AMI Consulting Engineers. He pleaded in the alternative a claim for benefits under the LHWCA. Nordic’s LHWCA carrier is American Longshore Mutual Association … Read More »

Duncan & Sevin Attorneys Obtain Defense Verdict for Trucking Clients

Chip Duncan and Lynette Stahl obtained a defense verdict for LEC Trucking Inc and Canal Insurance Company last month in Civil District Court, Parish of Orleans. The defense had argued an impact or accident never occurred and relied upon the testimony of its driver and the state trooper to defend the case. The Court found … Read More »

Surveyor’s Report Prepared Prior to Litigation Qualifies as Protected Work Product

A recent decision from the Southern District of Florida provides some guidance on the discoverability of surveyor’s reports prepared prior to the commencement of litigation. In B.M.I. Interior Yacht Refinishing, Inc. v. M/Y CLAIRE, 2015 WL 4316929 (S.D. Fla. July 15, 2015), several contractors brought an in rem suit against the M/Y CLAIRE seeking to … Read More »

Fifth Circuit finds amount in controversy met for NORM exposure claims in mass action removed under CAFA

The Fifth Circuit recently handed down another decision on issues of federal subject matter jurisdiction under CAFA for pollution claims. In Robertson v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 15-30920, 2015 WL 9592499 (5th Cir. Dec. 31, 2015) over one hundred individual Plaintiff’s filed suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against a host of defendants for … Read More »

Judge Morgan Renders Defense Verdict in Personnel Basket Case

In a recent opinion Judge Susie Morgan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the court highlighted the importance of retaining the proper expert in cases involving specialized offshore activities, like crane operations. In Richardson v. Seacor Liftboats, LLC, C/A 14-1712, 2015 WL 4397134 (E.DLa. Aug. 17, 2015) the plaintiff alleged … Read More »

Coverage Against Negligence Claim Precluded by Breach of Contract Exclusion in Construction Defect Action

In a recent opinion the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found coverage of a negligence claim arising from allegedly defective construction work barred by a breach of contract exclusion found in the contractor’s CGL policy. Hanover Insurance Company v. Plaquemines Parish Government, C/A 12-1680, 2015 WL 1268314 (E.D.La. March 19, 2015) … Read More »

An Expensive Wrist Sprain: Louisiana 3rd Circuit Upholds $300,000 in Punitive Damages for Arbitrary and Capricious Refusal to Pay Maintenance and Cure

In Stermer v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., 2014 WL 2515387 (La. App. 3d Cir. June 4, 2014), plaintiff was employed as a cook aboard an inland towing vessel on the Mississippi River. Ms. Stermer alleged that she had sustained injuries to her wrist and ankles when the vessel she was aboard bumped into its tow, causing her to … Read More »

The Deepwater Horizon Opinion is here: careful, thoughtful and detailed

This week, Judge Barbier released his opinion in the Deepwater Horizon litigation.  His 150+ page opinion defies easy description, but in very brief: Judge Barbier concludes the reason for the blowout was not the cement, it was the drilling process chosen principally by BP.  The most egregious fault on BP was in failure to perform … Read More »