Burglass & Tankersley successfully represents the State of Louisiana as amicus curiae before the Louisiana Supreme Court

January 27, 2012

Burglass & Tankersley represented the State of Louisiana at the request of Attorney General James D. Caldwell as amicus curiae before the Louisiana Supreme Court in Arlene Chambers v. Village of Moreauville, successfully urging the court to reverse a finding of liability against a municipality for a minor deviation in a sidewalk. The court's ruling is significant to the State and its many municipalities since it narrows the requirements for holding them liable for minor defects existing in their public infrastructure. Please see the press release below for further information. Click here to read the opinion.

PRESS RELEASE

Friday January 27, 2012

Burglass & Tankersley successfully represents the State of Louisiana as amicus curiae before the Louisiana Supreme Court

Burglass & Tankersley submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the State of Louisiana in Arlene Chambers v. Village of Moreauville, 2011-898 (La. 1/24/12). The case involved a strict liability claim brought against the Village of Moreauville wherein the plaintiff fell on a sidewalk containing a deviation of less than one and a half inches. The trial court found that the minor deviation in the sidewalk constituted an unreasonably dangerous condition and entered judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $350,000. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed.

Burglass & Tankersley filed the amicus brief in support of Moreauville's argument that the lower courts applied incorrect principles of law in finding liability, emphasizing the significant interest the State had in seeing that Louisiana courts applied the correct principles governing strict liability law for claims against public entities. The analysis used by the lower courts placed an unreasonable and economically impossible burden on the State given the countless sidewalks, roads, public ways, etc. under its care, custody and control. Following oral argument and consideration of the Moreauville and State briefs, the Court reversed the lower courts judgment in its entirety.

The Supreme Court's ruling is significant in that it constitutes the latest in a line of cases over the past several years that tighten and narrow the requirements for holding the State and its municipalities strictly liable for minor defects and imperfections existing in their public infrastructure.

For more information, please contact Dennis Phayer at 504-836-2220.

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