News: Defense Jury Verdict and Appellate Success
Aug 18, 2022
In April 2021, the BBFV trial team composed of David Bienvenu, John Viator, Jade Avant, Thomas Naquin, and Samantha Kennedy, together with co-counsel, Chehardy Sherman Williams, successfully obtained a defense verdict in a mesothelioma premises/employer liability case involving a retired Exxon employee after more than two weeks of trial. The case was tried in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of East Baton Rouge. Plaintiffs thereafter filed a Motion for New Trial on the basis of an alleged erroneous jury instruction, which was granted by the District Court. BBFV subsequently sought supervisory writs on the District Court’s ruling from the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal, arguing that the District Court erred in granting a new trial because Plaintiffs failed to object to the charge at trial, and the charge was not legally erroneous. On March 17, 2022, the Louisiana First Circuit granted Exxon’s writ, reversed the District Court’s judgment granting the plaintiffs’ motion for new trial and reinstated the jury verdict in Exxon’s favor. Plaintiffs thereafter sought a writ from the Louisiana Supreme Court, which BBFV successfully opposed. The Supreme Court’s ruling denying writs was issued on June 8, 2022.