Personal Injury - Defense

  • Mr. Murphy defended Stewart Development, L.L.C. and Stirling Properties, L.L.C., the owner and manager respectively of a high rise office building located in Metairie, Louisiana, against claims brought by the worker of a tenant, who fell and sustained a severe fracture of the left hip and other injuries when traversing an entrance-way that connected a multi-level parking garage to the building's lobby. Plaintiff claimed the entrance-way was defectively designed, constructed and maintained. The jury returned a verdict in favor of defendants that found the entrance-way posed no risk of harm.
    Fredrick Rohrbacker v. Stewart Development, L.L.C., No. 659-219, 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana    
  • Mr. Murphy secured the dismissal of a multi-million dollar suit brought against a sugar mill and its insurers by several plaintiffs, including one plaintiff who was rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a vehicular collision that occurred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in March 2008. The sugar mill had arranged for the driver of a tractor-trailer operated by another company to load raw sugar at the sugar mill, using equipment belonging to the sugar mill, and to transport the raw sugar to a refinery located approximately 60 miles away. The driver loaded more raw sugar on the trailer than the statute governing weight limits on roadways allowed. While in transit, the tractor-trailer rear-ended several vehicles. The sugar mill moved for summary judgment in the trial court, contending the tractor-trailer company was an independent contractor and therefore the sugar mill should have no liability for the actions of the tractor-trailer company or its driver. After the motion was filed, the trial court authorized plaintiffs to take the depositions of representatives of both the sugar mill and the tractor-trailer company. At the hearing on the motion, the trial court denied the motion. Following the denial, the sugar mill and its insurers applied for a supervisory writ of certiorari to the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal. The First Circuit granted the writ, reversed the trial court and entered summary judgment in favor of the sugar mill and its insurers. The First Circuit held that plaintiffs had failed to establish that they will be able to carry their evidentiary burden to demonstrate the sugar mill's vicarious liability or that the sugar mill had a duty to prevent the overloading of the tractor-trailer. Plaintiffs thereafter applied for a supervisory writ of certiorari to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which the Supreme Court denied.
    Manchester v. Conrad, No. 2009-CW-1074 (La. App. 1st Cir.)    
  • Mr. Murphy obtained a directed verdict at trial in favor of an oil equipment manufacturer sued by survivors of a decedent who died when a high pressure clamp separated while under extreme pressure.
    Cathy Lavergne v. Cameron Iron Works, Inc., No. 90-4558 (5th Cir. 1991).