Perrier and Lacoste Attorneys at Law
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Perrier & Lacoste Obtains Unanimous Defense Verdict in Alleged New Orleans Side-Swipe – May 2023

On May 3, 2023, Perrier & Lacoste trial attorneys, Trent P. Roddy and Guy D. Perrier, obtained a Defense Verdict on liability in New Orleans trucking accident trial. After years of delays, a stay, and motion practice, the trial was completed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. A unanimous jury found no fault on the Defendant truck driver.

The Plaintiffs alleged that they were injured in a November 29, 2017 side-swipe car accident on Interstate-10 in New Orleans. Plaintiffs claimed that they were passengers in a Nissan Murano. They alleged that the Defendant’s 18-wheeler entered their lane and side-swiped the Murano. They testified that the Defendant’s 18-wheeler “ate up” the side of their car and “dragged” them down the Interstate. Plaintiffs later sought medical treatment from several New Orleans health care providers for alleged cervical and lumbar spine injuries. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs asked for damages in excess of $1,000,000.

However, during the Defense’s case, the Defendants proved that the truck driver did not enter the Plaintiffs’ lane at all. The Defendant truck driver testified that he did not change lanes on I-10 and did not see, hear, or feel any impact. The Defendant truck driver told the jury how he was alarmed when another motorist drove on the side of his 18-wheeler at night on I-10 and attempted to waive him to the shoulder of the Interstate.

The Defendant truck driver’s testimony was supported by an accident reconstruction expert. The Defense accident reconstruction expert proved that the accident could not have happened in the way the Plaintiffs described. The Defense accident reconstruction expert proved that Defendant’s 18-wheeler did not change lanes, did not hit the Plaintiff vehicle, and did not drag the Plaintiffs’ vehicle down Interstate 10. The accident reconstruction expert explained to the jury that the damage to the Plaintiffs’ vehicle was caused by the driver of the Plaintiff vehicle steering into an 18-wheeler.

Defendants exposed the fact that several friends and relatives of the Plaintiffs were involved in claimed side-swipe accidents with 18-wheelers on I-10 in New Orleans, all within weeks of the Plaintiffs’ alleged accident. These other accidents all fit an established pattern of facts just like the facts of the Plaintiffs’ alleged accident. Plaintiffs attempted to deny that their associates were involved in these similar accidents and that they had spoken with these associates before their accident. However, using Plaintiffs’ cell phone records, Defendants brought to light the fact that the Plaintiffs were communicating with associates involved in similar side-swipe accidents around the time of their alleged accident. Defendants also used the cell phone records to show that the Plaintiffs were not even in the same vehicle when the accident occurred. Through Defendants aggressive pre-trial discovery, they were able to find evidence that the Plaintiffs conspired to intentionally stage their accident.

Defendants presented expert testimony from a neuroradiology expert, who testified that there was no evidence of any injuries in Plaintiffs’ MRIs. The Defense also investigated the Plaintiffs’ multiple prior injury claims. As a result of their investigation, the Defense team was able to expose the Plaintiffs’ false testimony about their medical histories on cross-examination.
Defendants could not have been able to present a winning case if they had not defeated Plaintiff’s several pre-trial motions to withhold critical evidence from the jury. The Plaintiffs filed several evidentiary motions intending to prevent Defendants from presenting any evidence that the Plaintiffs staged the accident. The Defense defeated Plaintiffs’ motion seeking to exclude any facts that Plaintiffs’ associates were in similar I-10 side-swipe accidents. The Defense defeated Plaintiffs’ attempt to exclude Defendants’ accident reconstruction expert from showing that Plaintiffs’ accident shared the same pattern of facts as their associates’ other I-10 side-swipe accidents. Defendants also prevailed when Plaintiffs moved to exclude Defendants’ medical expert from testifying that the Plaintiffs’ MRIs show no injuries from the accident.

After defeating motion after motion, the Defense was able to expose the Plaintiffs’ lies and present the facts to the jury. The jury vindicated the Defendants and returned a unanimous verdict that Defendant truck driver had no fault in Plaintiffs’ alleged accident.

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