Appeal - Joe McReynolds Successes

Insurer Liquidation - Reciprocity - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds and Ms. DeLaune handled this case where the Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania was a "reciprocal state" under Louisiana's Uniform Insurer Liquidation Act and that a Pennsylvania liquidation order deprived Louisiana courts of subject matter jurisdiction over all claims at law or equity against an insolvent Pennsylvania insurance company.
All Star Advertising Agency v. Reliance Ins. Co., 04-C-1544 (La. 4/12/05), 898 So. 2d 369.

Construction Surety Bonds - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this matter in which a surety company sued an insurance agency and its liability carrier to recover $2.5 million in construction defaults on bonds fraudulently issued by the agency’s former employee. A trial limited to liability resulted in judgment for defendants on grounds that the surety company had ratified the bonds by demanding remission of the premiums. The court of appeal affirmed.
North American Specialty v. Employers Reinsurance Corporation, et al, 02-2649 (La. App. 1 Cir. 9/26/03), 857 S. 2d 606, writ denied, 03-2977 (La. 1/16/04), 864 So. 2d 633.

Admiralty - Jones Act Seaman Status - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this appeal. Reversing a $43 million jury award, the Fifth Circuit held, as a matter of law, that a third year summer intern’s assignment to a jack-up drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico for a three-day gravel-packing job was not a permanent, regular or consistent re-assignment to sea-based work that regularly exposed the student to the "perils of the sea" within the meaning of Chandris, Inc. v. Landis, 515 U.S. 347, 115 S. Ct. 2172 (1995), so as to classify the student as Jones Act Seaman: "To give teeth to the Chandris opinion’s rejection of a voyage test, it must be held that merely serving an assignment on a vessel in navigation does not alter a worker’s status. If that were not the case, Chandris in fact would have established a voyage test."
Becker v. Tidewater, Inc., 335 F. 3d 376 (5th Cir. 2003).

Products Liability - Adequacy of Warnings - Sophisticated User - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this appeal when a foundry worker sued sand supplier Unimin Corporation, among others, for damages caused by exposure to silica dust in the employer’s foundry. The trial court’s denial of Unimin’s motion for summary judgment was reversed on writ application. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal held that Avondale, the plaintiff’s employer, was a sophisticated user of sand and that Unimin’s warnings on labels, invoices and in mass mailings were adequate as a matter of law.
Cowart v. Avondale Industries, 01-0894 (La. App. 4th Cir. 7/3/01), 792 So.2d 73, writ denied, 01-2719 (La. 1/4/02), 805 So.2d 211.

Punitive Damages - Retro-activity - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this appeal when the plaintiff in survival and wrongful death action sought punitive damages against asbestos manufacturers. The Supreme Court reversed the district and appellate courts and held that repealed Civil Code Article 2315.3, which allowed recovery of punitive damages for injuries arising out of wanton or reckless disregard for public safety in the storage, handling or transportation of toxic substances, could not be applied retroactively to asbestos exposure to manufacturer’s products that ended before the statute was enacted, even though the cause of action for wrongful death accrued while the statute was in effect. Significantly, the Supreme Court held that the law in effect at the time a cause of action occurs does not apply if the new law re-evaluates the legality of past conduct or "attaches new consequences to past events."
Anderson v. Avondale Industries, 2000-27 (La. 10/16/01), 798 So.2d 93. 

Attorney Liability - ERISA Claim - Prescription - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled the appeal when a plaintiff’s suit against an attorney for allegedly failing to prosecute his claim for ERISA benefits was dismissed at the close of the plaintiff’s case. The appeals court affirmed, holding that the plaintiff’s claim was under ERISA and subject to a ten-year period of limitations, and was not a "hybrid" claim under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), which may be subject to six-month periods of limitation.
Ferrell v. Estate of Donovan, 00-935 (La. App. 5 Cir. 11/2/00), 772 So.2d 260, writ denied, 00-3186 (La. 1/12/01), 781 So.2d 562.

Insurance Coverage - Property Dispute - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds successfully defended Travelers in a coverage dispute with the Fair Grounds arising out of a fire at the Fair Grounds race track in December of 1993. Fair Grounds was claiming blanket coverage under a property policy and sought coverage and payment for an additional $18 million under the policy. The court found that the policy was a scheduled policy, denied the bulk of the Fair Grounds’ claims for additional money, but awarded the Fair Grounds $2.4 million in additional compensation for loss of business income. The Fifth Circuit reversed the BI award on appeal. The decision clarifies the jurisprudence on law of agency, blanket and scheduled coverage, and the proper application of Louisiana’s Entire Policy Statute, R.S. 22:628.
Fair Grounds Corporation v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois, et al, No. 99-301 (La. App. 5 Cir. 09/28/99), 742 So.2d 1069, 1999 La. App. Lexis 2650, writ den’d, 99-3280 (La. 1/28/00), 753 So.2d 831. 

Products Liability - Asbestos Property Abatement - Venue - Civil Conspiracy - Appeal

On a 7-0 vote, the Louisiana Supreme Court issued a rare peremptory writ, reversing the Third Circuit Court of Appeal and reinstating the district court’s exception of venue, dismissing a suit against U.S. Mineral Products Company for its alleged participation in an industry-wide conspiracy to suppress information about the harmful properties of its insulation product. Mr. McReynolds peremptory writ affirmed the law in Louisiana that product manufacturers are not liable for property damages caused by the products made by others and clarified the application of solidarity liability to manufacturers of different products.
Ieyoub, ex. re. State of Louisiana v. W.R. Grace& Co. -Conn., et al., #97-180 (La. 3/27/97), 692 So.2d 381, reversing 96-00500 (La. App. 3rd Cir. 12/18/96), 688 So.2d 183.

Products Liability - Toxic Encephalopathy - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled an appeal in which The Fifth Circuit reversed a $4.5 million jury award for alleged brain damage allegedly caused by a plaintiff’s inhalation of fumes from carpet adhesive, holding that no reasonable jury could find that the adhesive was defective under Louisiana law. The jury’s verdict was the result of the improper and prejudicial trial tactics of the plaintiff’s counsel and the unscientific testimony of the plaintiff’s expert, who attributed causation to toxic properties of a mistaken chemical not present in the product.
Guilbeau v. W.W. Henry Co., 85 F.3d 1149 (5th Cir. 1996).

Products Liability - Asbestos Property Abatement - Settlement - Appeal

The principal issue in this case handled by Mr. McReynolds concerned the scope of a federal court’s inherent power to enforce a $415 million unsigned written settlement of asbestos abatement claims under New York law.
Dayton Independent School District, et al. v. W.R. Grace & Co.-Conn., No. 94-40155 (5th Cir. 1995).

Right of Privacy - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this matter in which dismissal of a plaintiff’s claims against Delta Airlines for alleged invasion of privacy in an airline reservation was affirmed on appeal.
Carr v. City of New Orleans,, 622 So.2d 819 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1993).

Products Liability - Prescription - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds obtained a summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s $17 million asbestos abatement claim on grounds of prescription. The judgment was affirmed on appeal.
Trizec Properties, Inc. v. United States Mineral Products, Co., 974 F.2d 602 (5th Cir. 1992).

Intervention - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this intervention of a Public Utility Commission in a private dispute between co-owners of a nuclear power plant, which was rejected.
Cajun Elec. Power Co.-Op, Inc. v. Gulf States Utilities, Inc., 940 F.2d 117 (5th Cir. 1991).

Racial Discrimination - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled an appeal in which the Fourth Circuit affirmed dismissal of plaintiff’s discrimination claim against the Housing Authority.
Gibson v. Housing Authority of New Orleans, 579 So.2d 528 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1991).

Construction Surety - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds briefed the appeal in which the Fifth Circuit affirmed a surety's superior claim to contract retainages over a competing bank's assignment of the same retainage.
Federal Insurance Company v. Community State Bank, 905 F.2d. 112 (5th Cir. 1990).

Construction - Mechanics Lien - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this suit involving a lien under Louisiana’s Private Works Act.
Rowley Co., Inc. v. Southbend Contractors, Inc., 517 So.2d 1260 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1989).

Full Faith & Credit - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds obtained affirmation of an arbitration award rendered in Georgia under the Full Faith and Credit Clause.
Joseph R. Keenan Co. v. White House Apartments, 517 So.2d 1141 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1987).