Firm News

Recent Legal Accomplishments

2 min read
Wayne Fontana of our New Orleans Office recently obtained another zero judgment in their defense of employers in Workers' Compensation trials. In this latest case, Burgess v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Docket No. 2015-CA-0918, the trial judge found fraud by the employee resulting in forfeiture of all benefits and a restitution order to pay back previous benefits received. Moreover, Wayne persuaded the court to impose a $1,000 civil penalty payable to the Kids' Chance scholarship fund and a similar $1,000 judgment for court costs and interpreter fees. Finally, the trial judge referred the case to the Fraud Section of the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs and to the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office for potential prosecution.
Wayne and Richard Seelman, both of our New Orleans Office, also scored a significant win at the Louisiana Supreme Court on March 24, 2021. For the second time in the last few years, Roedel Parsons obtained a landmark Louisiana Supreme Court decision which favored our client. The Court, in the matter of Hartman v. St. Bernard Parish Fire Dept. & FARA, Docket No. 2020-C-00693, affirmed a gradual hearing loss case which Richard initially won at the trial court. This decision will protect employers, especially fire departments, from gradual hearing loss claims. Wayne and Richard assembled a coalition of major business organizations like the state Chamber of Commerce, LABI, LASIE, and a number of statewide associations to support our arguments in an amicus brief.
Roedel Parsons is proud to announce that its associate, Bradley Guin, will be published in the 96th Edition of the Tulane Law Review. Bradley’s article, A Lessor’s Duty to Mitigate Damages Under Louisiana Law, analyzes an active circuit split in Louisiana regarding whether lessors owe a duty to mitigate their damages when their tenants unjustifiably abandon the leased premises. While some Louisiana courts of appeal hold that a lessor owes an affirmative duty to relet the premises, others hold the opposite. To resolve this split, the article argues that the modern pro-mitigation rule is the better position and, indeed, the current state of the law in Louisiana.
In the regulated utilities arena, Luke Piontek was successful in obtaining Louisiana Public Service Commission approval for Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative, Inc. to borrow up to $54,000,000 for broadband development in northeast Louisiana. In April 2021, Luke also was able to obtain Eligible Telecommunications Carrier and Telecommunications Service Provider designations for Volt Broadband, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative, Inc. from the Louisiana Public Service Commission. These designations will allow Volt Broadband to operate as a telecommunications utility in Louisiana and assist it in leveraging federal grant funding obtained through the FCC’s fall 2020 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, Phase I Auction into meaningful development of high-speed broadband internet service in rural areas of northeast Louisiana.

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