Verdicts & Settlements
Jason M. Welborn obtained a $7,100,000 trial verdict for a floorhand who injured his leg in an oilfield accident and developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
$4.375 Million verdict for a 46 year old man injured when he was rear ended by an 18 wheeler.
Jason M. Welborn and Mark Murray obtained a jury verdict of $4,375,000 for a gentleman who was rear ended by an 18-wheeler on I-10 near the Texas border. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff suffered injury to his right shoulder, left knee and left hand that required surgery. Plaintiff also claimed injury to his spine and brain in the collision. The defense argued that all of the injuries were pre-existing. The matter was tried over 6 days and resulted in a unanimous jury awarding the plaintiff $4,375,000.
Jason M. Welborn recovered $3.25 Million for a 54 year old man who lost the use of his left arm in an auto accident occurring on I-10 near Lafayette, Louisiana. As the client was cresting an overpass he encountered a full tire and rim that had come off of a preceding vehicle. In swerving to avoid it, he lost control and flipped his vehicle. In the crash, he received severe injuries to left arm requiring surgery. After fighting to establish his contractual right to seek damages from his employers Uninsured Motorist policy, the defendants settled for the amount to provide the client for the rest of his life.
for a 20-year-old man who suffered brain injury as a result of an accident at school.
for oilfield worker/Jones Act seaman injured low back in an explosion.
Jason M. Welborn obtained a $2,500,000 settlement for a 6 year old boy who sustained a head injury when his mother’s vehicle was rear-ended by a commercial truck.
$2,250,000 Million settlement for a 47 year old woman injured when she was rear ended by a tow truck.
Jason M. Welborn and Jacob Hargett obtained a settlement of $2,250,000 for a young woman rear ended by a commercial tow truck while stopped for traffic. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff suffered injury to her shoulder requiring surgery. Additionally, the client suffered a lower back injury that she elected to treat with a pain relieving device known as a Dorsal Column Stimulator. The defense argued that the injuries were pre-existing. The matter was settled just before trial for $2,250,000.
for a 22-year-old woman paralyzed due to medical malpractice.
Jason Welborn and Jacob Hargett recently recovered over $2.2 million for our client who was injured in a 4 vehicle auto accident, plaintiff made allegations against all vehicles including the defendants commercial truck. Some of the plaintiffs allegations were the defendant drivers alleged intoxication and drug use. The plaintiffs injures included a low back surgery recommendation and a torn rotator cuff repair surgery.
Jason M. Welborn obtained a $2,100,000 verdict for the parents of a 24 year old woman tragically killed in an auto accident.
Attorneys of Welborn and Hargett recently recovered $1,800,000.00 for a woman who was injured when an eighteen wheeler tire blew out while traveling down Interstate 10. After the blow out, it became detached from the tractor truck, then collided with our client’s vehicle and caused less than $2,000 in property damage. The client suffered a back and knee injury. Shortly after the collision, she underwent two knee surgeries, however, she did all that she could to avoid the back surgery. After two years of struggling with back pain, she underwent a lumbar fusion surgery. The case was mediated without success. The insurance company only offered $450,000.00 at mediation. Four days before trial, the insurance company finally offered what was a very fair settlement.
I recently recovered $2,265,000.00 for a 51-year-old woman injured while at a stop in traffic in Lafayette, Louisiana. The defendant driver was driving a 15,000 pound tow truck, failed to stop when three vehicles in front of him stopped. The Defendant’s tow truck rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle with significant force causing her vehicle to collide with the two stopped vehicles in front of her vehicle. Following the collision, the defendant driver failed a drug screen for marijuana. However, this was not the first drug screen failure by the defendant driver. Indeed, there were multiple prior failed drug screens in the defendant driver’s employee file with the tow truck company. The tow truck company attempted to hide the drug screens during the pendency of the case, however, after taking the issue up to the Louisiana Supreme Court, I was able to obtain the defendant driver’s medical and drug testing records. This proof went a long way in helping to obtain just compensation for my client.
I recently recovered $2,330,000.00 for a gentleman injured in an 18 wheeler incident. Unlike most large recoveries involving an 18 wheeler, my client was the driver of the big rig. Here, my client operating a tractor truck at highway speeds headed northbound in the right lane of travel on Interstate Highway 55. Also headed northbound on the same highway, a small unknown vehicle was traveling in the left lane behind my client’s truck. As the exit for the on-ramp for Interstate Highway 12 was approaching, the unknown vehicle rapidly sped up, quickly passed my client’s truck and changed lanes into my client’s lane without using its turn signal. The unknown vehicle narrowly missed colliding with my client’s tractor truck during the maneuver. After entering my client’s lane of travel, the small car abruptly applied its brakes to make the I-12 exit. Given the extremely close proximity to my client’s truck, he was required to take evasive action to avoid colliding with the unknown vehicle. My client locked up his brakes and swerved to the right in attempt to avoid colliding with unknown vehicle . My client ran off the road to the right and struck a guardrail. The entire guardrail and all the pilings were destroyed in the collision. After striking the guardrail, my client’s truck was forced over a cement barrier and more than halfway up the embankment of the I-12 overpass. With more than two million miles under my client’s driving record, this was his first accident. Without question, my client placed himself in harm’s way, to avoid seriously injuring the passengers of the unknown vehicle.
I recently recovered $1,800,000.00 for a man injured in Opelousas, Louisiana. Specifically, my client was stopped, waiting to exit a Walgreen’s parking lot, when an Furniture Store’s box truck attempted to turn into the parking lot. Unfortunately, the box truck turned too sharp and collided with the driver’s side of my client’s truck. The investigating officer determined that my client was in a proper exit lane at the time of collision. The defense attempted to dig deep into the plaintiff’s past medical records and argue the plaintiff’s injuries were all pre-existing. However, my client had a normal MRI prior to the collision and significant changes on his MRI scan following the collision. That helped him recover for his injuries, as well as his lost past and future income as a contract welder.
Jake Hargett with our offices recently recovered $1,800,000.00 for a woman who was injured when an eighteen wheeler tire blew out while traveling down Interstate 10. After the blow out, the tire became detached from the tractor truck, which then collided with our client’s vehicle and caused less than $2,000 in property damage. As a result of the accident, our client suffered a low back and knee injury. Shortly after the collision, she underwent two knee surgeries, however, she did all that she could to avoid the back surgery. After two years of struggling with back pain, she underwent a lumbar fusion surgery. Mr. Hargett mediated the case without success; in fact, the insurance company only offered $450, 000.00 at mediation. After several unsuccessful attempts at mediation, and after the threat of a possible punitive damage award and excess judgment were finally realized by the defendants, the case settled just four days prior to trial. After much hard work and with the threat of trial looming, the insurance company finally offered what was a very fair settlement. We are humbled by our client’s strength throughout the litigation, and we are equally humbled that she chose our firm to represent her during this life changing time.
I represented a man injured in the Louisiana coastal waters while being transported by his company’s vessel to a fixed installation. Specifically, my client was a passenger aboard a twenty-three foot (23’) tri-hull aluminum work boat, built in 1979, provided by the company to its operators for servicing the wells and for transportation. At the time of the subject incident, the captain was negligently operating the vessel in high wind and sea conditions. Normally, fourteen (14) mph winds and three (3) foot seas are not considered severe; however, they were for the size and design of the small vessel at issue. Indeed, the captain admitted the seas were bad enough to make him run weather patterns. As a result of the sea conditions and how the captain was operating the vessel, my client’s lumbar spine was injured. After completing the deposition of the Captain and performing a vessel inspection, I was confident in our ability to prove operator negligence and that the vessel was unseaworthy. Prior to my involvement in the claim, the company was only paying my client LHWCA benefits. However, after I became involved, I won a motion for summary judgment which concluded that my client was a Jones Act Seaman. This was a pivotal change in the plaintiff’s burden of proof under Maritime Law, and likely was the catalyst for the resolution of his claim.
Our firm’s Maritime attorneys represented a tong operator who injured his shoulder while exercising on an offshore platform. Following the client’s injury, he favored the injured shoulder while performing his job duties. Ultimately, he underwent two shoulder surgeries on his right shoulder and one on his left shoulder. After recovering from his shoulder surgeries, our client could not return to work offshore as a tong operator. Before trial, the parties mediated the case and settled for over $1.5 million.
Our firm’s Lafayette Maritime Attorneys represented four men who were injured as a result of an excessive wake thrown by a crew boat. Specifically, a 150 foot crew boat was traveling at a high rate of speed in the Intracoastal canal and failed to slow down when passing our clients, who were anchored fishing along the rock jetties. The vessel pushed an excessive wake which impacted our client’s fishing vessels and ejected all passengers. We proved that the vessel company and operator were negligent and the vessel company settled all four claims.
Jason M. Welborn obtained a $1,750,000 settlement for a small business owner who suffered neck and back injuries in an auto accident.
Attorneys Jason Welborn recently recovered over $1.7 million for our client sustained a torn meniscus injury in her knee with a subsequent surgery, and also developed CRPS in both legs. The client was injured in an intersectional accident with a 18 wheeler.
Truck crashing with each other – Vehicular Accidents 466387691
In “Nathaniel Toby, Sr. v. Travelers Insurance Company, et al”, Jason M. Welborn obtained a total settlement of $1.525 million for injuries suffered by a 72-year-old plaintiff in an intersection automobile accident in South Texas. In this case, Mr. Toby was a guest passenger in a vehicle being driven by the defendant. Unfortunately, the defendant ran a stop sign which caused the catastrophic motor vehicular collision. As a result of the collision, Mr. Toby began experiencing neck and back pain which ultimately resulted in surgical intervention. Prior to Mr. Welborn and The Gaar Firm becoming involved, the defendants had refused to pay any settlement funds as a result of coverage defenses that they believed would defeat Mr. Toby’s entitlement to insurance proceeds from the defendants. After taking over the case, Mr. Welborn filed the appropriate Motions for Summary Judgment and ultimately won the right to coverage under the policy. After winning the right to coverage, Mr. Welborn proceeded to take all of the necessary medical depositions, in order to solidify the damage claim. Having lost its defenses on the coverage issues, and bearing witness to the testimony of the various treating physicians, the defendants agreed to pay $1.525 million in total settlement. This recovery was made, despite the fact that Mr. Toby was a retired former concrete worker, and no wage loss or economic loss could be argued.
Our firm’s auto accident attorneys represented a 72 year old gentleman who was injured when the car he was riding in ran a stop sign causing an accident. As a result of the auto accident, our client suffer severe neck and back injuries that required surgery. During the case, our auto accident attorneys were successful in convincing the court that the insurance policy for the business owned by the driver applied to provide coverage to our client. After extensive medical discovery, the defendants paid a total of $1.525 million to settle the case.
Jason M. Welborn obtained over $1.5 million for four clients with various injuries as a result of a barge waking accident. The inland barge and tow at issue was traveling through the ICWW at an unsafe speed causing the plaintiffs small fishing boat to capsize.
In a confidential settlement, Jason M. Welborn obtained a $1.5 million settlement, following mediation for a head injury, which resulted in a controlled seizure disorder. The plaintiff was employed at a pipe yard, and while working for his employer, he was required to traverse a dilapidated roof. While moving from one location to another, he was required to remove his safety harness from the existing life lines, in order to relocate to a new position. While in the process of relocating, he fell through a weak spot in the existing roof, suffering a concussion, a broken hand, and two broken ribs. Over the next few months, the plaintiff developed a seizure disorder, which caused him to have epileptic episodes on an occasional basis. The plaintiff’s seizures were effectively controlled with a combination of medications, avoiding the necessity for brain surgery. Through diligent discovery and litigation efforts, Mr. Welborn was able to successfully convince the defendants that the accident fell outside of the Workers’ Compensation immunity, and entitled the plaintiff to a recovery.
More importantly, Mr. Welborn was able to successfully overcome the 1 percent comparative fault rule in Alabama. To explain, in Alabama, if a person is 1 percent responsible for their injuries, then they are not entitled to recover any amount. Through diligent litigation efforts, Mr. Welborn was able to convince the defendants that the plaintiff would not bear even 1 percent responsibility, despite the fact that he had untied from one life line in order to move to a second life line. At mediation, Mr. Welborn was able to convince the defense attorneys that they faced substantial exposure, even though the 1 percent rule would deny the plaintiff recovery if proven. The $1.5 million recovery was a lump sum settlement for all damages incurred by the plaintiff.
Our firm’s Lafayette Maritime Attorneys represented a man who was injured while attempting a personnel basket transfer from an oil rig to the deck of a boat. A previous attorney had advised the client his claim should be settled for $60,000. Our Lafayette Maritime Attorneys proved that the boat company and crane operator were negligent when they attempted the transfer in rough weather with an unqualified crane operator.
Our firm’s Louisiana Wrongful Death Attorneys represented the family of a 17 year old girl who was tragically killed when she was hit by a truck while walking on the side of the road. The jury awarded damages of $1.275 million to the mother and father of the young lady. Our firm proved that the driver of the truck was traveling at an unsafe speed and was not paying attention to the road way at the time of the accident.
$1,250,000.00 confidential settlement, with a waiver of $266,000.00 on the workers’ comp lien/subrogation, for an offshore worker who injured his shoulder while working out in the exercise room while on a jack-up drilling rig.
Our firm’s Jones Act and Maritime attorneys represented a boat owner whose pleasure craft was partially capsized by the wake of a passing tug boat. While our client was tied to a dock doing repairs on his boat, a tug boat passed at a high rate of speed throwing a 6 foot wake. As a result, our client was forced to undergo back surgery for a herniated disc. At trial, our experienced maritime attorney convinced the court that the tug boat was operating at an unsafe speed and awarded $1.243 million dollars to compensate the victim.
In Clay Mouton v. Willis Provost Transportation Company, Inc., Docket Number 00107070, 16th Judicial District Court, Iberia Parish, La., Jason M. Welborn settled an auto accident case, resulting in spinal surgery for $1.18 million, representing the policy limits of the underlying defendant’s insurance policy. Mr. Mouton was injured when he was traveling La. Highway 343, during the time when farmers were burning their cane fields. The defendants in this matter had lit a cane field fire to burn off cane residue, following the harvest season. The defendants lit the fire, and then left the scene of the fire, which allowed smoke to accumulate and obscure vision, for traffic traveling on La. Highway 343. Unfortunately, an 18-wheeler owned by one of the defendants entered the smoke bank and then stopped within the smoke bank. As Mr. Mouton entered the smoke bank, he crashed into the rear of the stopped 18-wheeler, and was subsequently rear-ended by another vehicle.
Jason M. Welborn filed suit against the farmer lighting the fire, the 18-wheeler, and the rear-ending vehicle. During the course of the trial, Mr. Welborn successfully established coverage under the farmer’s farm liability policy through Motions for Summary Judgment. After winning the issues of coverage, the defendants had no choice but to tender their entire policy limits of $1.18 million, to compensate Mr. Mouton for his injuries. Mr. Welborn successfully convinced the defense attorney that it was necessary to tender this $1.18 million policy limit, to avoid the potential for an excess judgment against their insured. The defendants elected this path, rather than proceeding to trial.
Jason M. Welborn obtained a $1.15 million settlement for a sales clerk who injured her neck and back in an auto accident resulting in back surgery.
Jason M. Welborn recovered $1,000,000 for a 53 year old gentlemen injured when a company vehicle pulled out in front of his motorcycle. As the client was riding his motorcycle, a man turning into his company’s parking lot suddenly turned directly into his path. The collision ejected the client from his motorcycle causing injury to his knee and lower back. After having 2 arthroscopic knee surgeries and having a surgery recommended on his back, the parties were able to reach settlement for the $1,000,000 policy limits.
In a confidential settlement, Mr. Welborn, in association with the Gaar Law Firm, obtained an $857,500 confidential settlement following mediation. The client was injured as a result of a manlift malfunction and tip-over accident, which occurred while at work. The client, who was employed as a rigger, was injured when a 120-foot aerial manlift which had been rented to the client’s employer malfunctioned, causing it to tip over. The client fell approximately 90 feet and injured his cervical and lumbar spine. Plaintiff contended, and was able to prove that the manlift malfunctioned due to the rental company’s failure to properly inspect and repair the manlift in question, while making a routine service call several days prior to the accident at issue. The manlift in question was designed so as to prohibit the operator from taking the basket outside of the “safe working envelope”.
During discovery, Mr. Gaar and Mr. Welborn established that the alarm system failed to warn the operator, that he was operating outside of the safe working envelope and further, that the platform failed to automatically retract to within safe working limits, thus causing the manlift to tip over, and causing the client’s injuries. Mr. Welborn and Mr. Gaar proved that the service mechanic, who had visited the employer’s yard just two days before the accident at issue, failed to repair and/or correct the malfunctioning emergency management system (EMS), which was responsible for keeping the personnel basket within the safe working envelope. The Gaar Law Firm was successful in obtaining a $857,500 lump sum award, in full and final settlement of the client’s claims against the manufacturer and rental company.
Our firm’s maritime and Jones act attorneys represented a gentleman who injured his back and ankle while he was working aboard a Dredge boat. In the accident, the defendants had provided our client with a defective tool. While working with the tool, it broke causing our client to break his ankle and suffer a ruptured disc. Both injuries required surgery. Our maritime and Jones Act attorneys, convinced the boat company that the tool was defective resulting in a settlement of $850,000. Our client even got his job back after the case was settled.
Our firm’s Maritime attorneys represented a gentleman who was injured during a personnel basket transfer in rough weather. While attempting to transfer from an oil rig to the deck of a boat, our client was injured when the crane operator allowed the basket to hit the side of the boat and crash to the deck. Our Maritime attorneys convinced the boat company and the crane operator that they shared the fault for the accident and was able to get a combined settlement of $800,000 for his injured back.
In Lyman Seaux v. Judice Sand and Gravel Company, Inc., Docket Number 2003-0814 Div. “K”, 15th Judicial District Court, Lafayette Parish, La., Jason M. Welborn successfully settled a single level lumbar surgery case with the defendants for $790,000. In this case, Mr. Seaux was injured when a dump truck, which he was using to haul dirt for Judice Sand and Gravel, collapsed during an unloading procedure. As a result of the collapse, the dump trailer crashed back into the bed of the truck, jarring Mr. Seaux, and causing an injury to his lumbar spine. After working up the medicals, it was ultimately determined that Mr. Seaux would require lumbar surgery to repair his problems.
During the course of the litigation, the defendants argued that they were not responsible for the overloading, and hired a hydraulics engineer to establish that the reason for the cylinder collapse was not the overloading of the trailer. After flying to Salt Lake City, Utah to take the deposition of the hydraulics engineer, Mr. Welborn was able to establish that the expert had no basis for his opinion, and filed a Motion to Exclude his testimony at trial. Facing the fact that they would likely go to trial, without the use of an expert, the defendants were forced to pay Mr. Seaux $790,000 in settlement for his lumbar injury.
In David K. Vincent v. Bobby D. Messer, Ace Transportation, Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Docket Number: 2002-5014 DIV. “F”, 15th Judicial District Court, Lafayette Parish , La., Jason M. Welborn and the Gaar Law Firm obtained a $750,000 settlement following mediation for unoperated cervical and lumbar disc injuries. Mr. Vincent was injured when his 18-wheeler broadsided an Ace Transportation flatbed trailer, as it attempted to cross Highway 90 in Lafayette, La. Mr. Vincent sustained an injury to his neck and back, which resulted in a surgical recommendation from his treating physicians. However, Mr. Vincent elected not to undergo the surgical procedures prior to the time of trial. At mediation, Mr. Welborn was able to convince the defense attorneys that they faced substantial exposure, even without Mr. Vincent having undergone the surgical procedures. The $750,000 was a lump sum cash settlement for all damages incurred by Mr. Vincent.
Our firm Jones Act and Maritime attorneys represented a gentleman who was injured when the wake from a tug boat violently hit his pleasure craft. After three full days of trial, the defendants waived the white flag and offered our client $750,000 to compensate him for his injuries. The accident caused our client to suffer an injury to his neck, requiring surgery. Although the defense was initially confident in their case, our experienced maritime attorneys forced their expert to admit the tug boat was operating at an unsafe speed. After this admission, the tug boat company paid $750,000 to avoid the trial verdict.
Our firm’s Maritime and Jones Act attorney’s represented a tug boat captain who injured his neck and shoulder while attempting to descend a flight of stairs leading from the wheelhouse to the galley. The Captain was required to have neck surgery to repair a ruptured disc. Our Maritime and Jones Act Attorneys was able to convince the defendant that the handrail was unsafe and that there was a foreign substance on the stairs. This is yet another example of the hundreds of Jones Act seaman our firm has helped get justice.
In Marcy Latiolais v. L’Auberge Du Lac Casino in Lake Charles, La., Docket Number 2005-001401 G, 14th Judicial District Court, Calcasieu Parish, La., Jason M. Welborn obtained a $600,000 settlement for a single level cervical fusion. Mr. Latiolais was injured when he was thrown from the back of a forklift, on the grounds of the L’Auberge Du Lac Casino and Hotel in Lake Charles, La.
Mr. Welborn argued that the operator of the forklift, a L’Auberge employee, operated the forklift in a negligent fashion, and ultimately caused Mr. Latiolais’ injuries. Despite the fact that Louisiana Courts have held that a single level cervical fusion has a value of $100,000 to $150,000, Mr. Welborn was successful in convincing the casino that they faced substantial exposure, should the matter proceed to trial. Within a few months of taking the tactical depositions of the L’Auberge employees, and establishing that the forklift operator had performed his job task negligently, Mr. Welborn was successful in obtaining a $600,000 lump sum award in full and final settlement of Mr. Latiolais’ claim. Mr. Latiolais has returned to work, following the very successful result for his cervical surgery, along with his $600,000 settlement.
In “Jeremy P. Rosiere v. Wood Towing, LLC”, Jason M. Welborn and The Gaar Firm obtained a settlement of $575,000 for a questionable head injury occurring at work. In the Rosiere case, Mr. Rosiere alleged he was injured as a result of being hit in the lower jaw by a tie rope connecting his employer’s tug to a barge. Unfortunately, Mr. Rosiere’s accident was unwitnessed, and he failed to report that he was knocked unconscious to either his captain or fellow crew mates. However, he did have a cracked front incisor, and reported to his accident to his superiors. During litigation, issues arose in the case regarding the existence of the head injury and whether or not there was a blow to the head sufficient to cause a closed head injury. The defendant’s attorney hired a neuropsychologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist, who all offered the opinion that the impact, if any, was insufficient to cause the damage claimed by Mr. Rosiere. To combat these opinions, Mr. Welborn hired experts from Louisiana and Arkansas to establish the injuries suffered by Mr. Rosiere. After many depositions, court appearances, and court rulings, Mr. Welborn convinced the defendant to pay the sum of $575,000 in full and final settlement of Mr. Rosiere’s claim. In addition, Mr. Welborn was able to secure a complete waiver of the maintenance and cure benefits previously paid by its employer. In total, Mr. Rosiere received an economic benefit as a result of the direct efforts of Mr. Welborn of more than $600,000.
In Kevin Gaspard v. Cameron Offshore Boats, Inc., CV:02-2038, United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, Mr. Welborn obtained a $575,000 settlement for a single level lumbar surgery resulting from an offshore crew boat collision accident. Mr. Gaspard was injured when two crew boat vessels, traveling in dense fog, collided off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result of the collision, Mr. Gaspard suffered a herniated disc in his lumbar spine, which ultimately led to a single level lumbar fusion surgery. Despite the fact that Louisiana Courts generally award $150,000 for a single level lumbar fusion, the Gaar Law Firm was successful in convincing the defendants that they faced substantial exposure, should this matter proceed to trial. Just days prior to the trial, the defendants met the plaintiff’s settlement offer of $575,000, resulting in a full and final settlement of Mr. Gaspard’s claims. Mr. Gaspard returned to work, and had a very successful result from his lumbar surgery, to go along with his $575,000 settlement.
Our firm’s Heavy Trucking Accident and auto accident attorney’s represented a 60 year old Hispanic man who was injured when an 18-wheeler ran a stop sign directly into the path of our client. As a result of the accident, the client injured his neck and hand. The client had severe degenerative changes in his neck due to age that were aggravated in the accident. Our firm’s heavy trucking accident and auto accident attorneys convinced the defendants that the aggravation was caused by the accident and that surgery was required.
Our firm’s oil rig accident attorneys represented a gentleman who was injured when the floor of a drilling rig he was working on had collapsed. As a result of the collapse, our client sustained an injured back that required surgery. The question in the case was whether our client’s employer or the oil rig builder was at fault in causing the collapse. After extensive depositions and research, our oil rig accident attorney convinced the oil rig repair company that they were at least partially responsible for the collapse. As a result they settled with our client for $540,000 to compensate him for his back injury.
In Virgie Ann Causey v. Walter J. Tortorich, et al, Docket Number 66302-A, 13th Judicial District Court, Evangeline Parish, La., Jr., and Jason M. Welborn successfully litigated an unwitnessed, single car accident, where Ms. Causey struck a cow that escaped from its enclosure and was wandering the road. At trial, Mr. Welborn was able to successfully overcome an argument by the defendants that Ms. Causey’s spinal injuries were pre-existing, and unrelated to the accident.
Despite the fact that the defendants were able to uncover evidence of a prior accident, for which Ms. Causey claimed disability, Mr. Welborn and Mr. Gaar were successful in changing the defendants’ independent medical examiner’s opinion, with regards to causation. After detailed cross-examination, The Gaar Law Firm successfully convinced the defendants’ expert physician to change his prior opinion testimony and admit that Ms. Causey’s lumbar injuries were, in fact, related to her automobile accident. Following four days of testimony, the jury rendered a verdict in Ms. Causey’s favor, which ultimately allowed collection of $506,000, inclusive of court costs and judicial interest, despite the fact that Ms. Causey was only awarded $3,000 in economic loss. The jury simply did not believe that Ms. Causey, who has been unemployed since 1993, was entitled to an award of future economic loss. Nonetheless, the jury gave her a total award of $506,000 to compensate Ms. Causey for her injuries.
In “Larry Joe Guillory, Sr. v. Eagle Inland Towing, LLC”, Mr. Welborn successfully settled a single level lumbar fusion case resulting from a tugboat accident. In the Guillory case, Mr. Guillory was employed as a boat mechanic/port captain and was assigned to work aboard his employer’s tugboats. During the course of performing an operation to change out a clutch on a starboard tugboat engine, Mr. Guillory was injured when he and a co-worker attempted to carry a 250-pound clutch from its location in the engine room to a waiting vehicle. In the process of traversing the deck of his employer’s tugboat, he and his co-employees became entangled, resulting in them falling to the ground.
The primary issue in Mr. Guillory’s case was establishing that he was a Jones’ Act seaman and entitled to pursue his claims against his employer. In general, an employee cannot sue his employer as a result of the doctrine called statutory immunity. Indeed, when an employee is hurt in the course and scope of his employment, his only remedy is workers’ compensation. Due to the efforts of Mr. Welborn, plaintiff was able to convince the defendant that there was a likelihood that Mr. Guillory would be determined to be a Jones’ Act seaman rather than a Long Shore employee. Based upon the depositions taken, the defendant elected to pay Mr. Guillory the sum of $350,000, new money, and a complete waiver of the $147,000 in Long Shore benefits previously paid. As a result, Mr. Welborn was successfully able to obtain a total settlement of just over $500,000 in total economic benefit to Mr. Guillory as a result of his injury.
In Tiffany Williams v. Golden Logistics, LLC, Docket Number 2004-CA-000278, the Fifth Judicial Circuit, In and For Sumter County, Fla., Jason M. Welborn successfully settled a single level lumbar fusion in a minimal impact collision for $450,000. In this case, Ms. Williams was an owner/operator truck driver, who was parked at a truck stop and was sleeping in her cab. While she was sleeping, a second 18-wheeler rolled into the front of her vehicle, knocking her from her bunk. As a result of the fall, Ms. Williams injured her lumbar spine, and ultimately required lumbar surgery. Due to the fact that this accident happened in Wildwood, Fla., the matter had to be litigated in Central Florida.
Despite the fact that the venue was very favorable to the defendants, Mr. Welborn was successful in pressuring the defendants to pay $450,000 for Ms. Williams’ injuries. The defendants relied on a report issued by their independent medical examiner, claiming that Ms. Williams’ injuries were pre-existing. However, on detailed cross examination, the defendant’s doctor changed his opinion, and agreed that Ms. Williams’ injuries were likely a result of the parking lot vehicle accident. As a result, the defendants were forced to pay Ms. Williams $450,000, in full and final settlement of her case.
In Jamie Bellard v. Air Logistics, Inc. d/b/a Offshore Logistics, Inc., 6:02 CV1829 (Lead), 6:02 CV1830 (Member), United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette-Opelousas Division, Mr. Welborn, in association with the Gaar Law Firm, obtained a $425,000 settlement for a single level lumbar fusion, despite the fact that Mr. Bellard was able to return to work following his surgery. Mr. Bellard was injured when a helicopter, in which he was a passenger, and which was owned by Offshore Logistics, Inc., malfunctioned and was required to make an emergency “landing” in the Gulf of Mexico. As a result of the emergency landing, Mr. Bellard sustained a herniated disc in his lumbar spine, which ultimately required surgery.
Mr. Bellard had a successful result in surgery, and was able to go to work following the resolution of his case. Despite the fact that the defendants were claiming that Mr. Bellard’s injuries could not have resulted from the “gentle landing” in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gaar Law Firm was successful in convincing the defendants that they faced substantial exposure should the matter go to trial. After protracted settlement negotiations, a settlement was ultimately reached the day of trial, resulting in a $425,000 settlement in favor of Mr. Bellard.
In Mark Buteaux v. Faucheaux Brothers Airboat Services, Inc., Civil Action Number 05-2743 (LEAD), United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Jason M. Welborn and The Gaar Law Firm obtained a $375,000 settlement, following mediation for an unoperated lumbar disc injury. Mr. Buteaux was injured when the airboat he was driving became lodged with a second airboat owned by his employer. In trying to free the two airboats, Mr. Buteaux was ordered, by his supervisor, to use his back and legs to try and push the boats apart from each other. While pushing against the boats, Mr. Buteaux felt a sudden pain in his back, which ultimately required medical treatment. Although one of Mr. Buteaux’s doctors recommended the performance of a lumbar fusion, Mr. Buteaux elected not to undergo the surgery at the time of mediation. At mediation, Mr. Welborn and The Gaar Law Firm were able to convince the defense attorneys that they faced substantial exposure, even without Mr. Buteaux undergoing the surgical procedure. The defendants paid $375,000, in a lump sum, for all damages incurred by Mr. Buteaux.
Our firm’s auto accident attorneys represented a gentleman who was injured when his truck was broadsided by another car. Although the client was already suffering from injuries caused by a previous accident, our firm convinced the opposing side that the accident aggravated a pre-existing ruptured disc in his lower back. After detailed medical testimony, the insurance company was unwilling to risk going to trial and paid our client $325,000 to settle the case. This is but one of thousands of auto accident victims our firm has won justice for.
In Veronica Bannister v. E-Z Bus, Inc., Civil Action Number 6:06-CV-1320 LO, United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Jason M. Welborn represented Ms. Veronica Bannister, who was an evacuee from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, in New Orleans, La. During the evacuation, Ms. Bannister and her family were loaded onto a bus, owned by E-Z Bus, Inc., for transport from New Orleans to destinations unknown. While traveling on the bus, the driver and one of the other passengers became involved in an altercation, which ultimately caused the bus to roll over onto its side. As a result of the rollover accident, Ms. Bannister injured her right shoulder, which required surgery.
The major issue in the case was whether or not the bus driver could be held responsible for the altercation, occurring between him and the passenger. Through diligent research, Mr. Welborn discovered that the bus company was under an obligation to ensure the protection of its passengers. Mr. Welborn convinced the defense attorneys that their driver had an obligation to stop the bus at the first sign of trouble. After convincing the defense attorneys that they faced substantial exposure, should this matter go to trial, they agreed to pay Ms. Bannister $300,000 in full and final settlement for her injuries. Ms. Bannister is happily living in Texas, and has no restrictions resulting from this accident.
Our firm’s auto accident attorneys represented a gentleman who was injured when an 18-wheeler pulled out in front of our client causing him to leave the road to avoid the accident. As a result of the accident, our client aggravated a pre-existing neck injury. Even though the client did not want or have neck surgery, our auto accident attorneys convinced the insurance company that they were responsible for the accident and the neck injury. The defendant paid our client $300,000 to settle the claim for his injured neck.
Our firm’s maritime attorneys represented an independent contractor who injured his back while being transported by a crew boat in the Gulf of Mexico. The client was required to undergo back surgery to repair a ruptured disc. Our Maritime and Jones Act Attorneys were able to convince the court that the Captain’s operation of the vessel in rough seas was negligent and ultimately caused our client’s injuries. Our client was sixty-seven years old at the time of his injury and due to his plan of work prior to the subject incident, he was awarded loss of earnings to age seventy-five. This issue was hotly contested as it was well over the recommendations of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Jason Welborn & Jacob Hargett represented a gentleman who was injured when the wake from a tug boat violently hit his vessel. The defendant, the United States of America, was the owner and operator of the largest tug boat in the United States. The tug boat captain was operating the vessel at an unsafe speed and created a large wake which went over the freeboard of our client’s smaller tug boat . The wake impacted our client’s vessel at the same time he was descending a flight of stairs to the engine room. The accident caused our client to suffer an injury to his back and elbow, requiring surgery to his elbow. Although the defense was initially confident in their case, our experienced maritime attorneys forced their expert to admit the tug boat was operating at an unsafe speed. After several days of trial, our attorneys were awarded with another plaintiff verdict in Federal Court.