In an important insurance defense decision for Louisiana employers, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal recently found that an employee who allegedly injured her neck, back and shoulders lifting 1 gallon cans of pain, failed to prove a work “accident” as defined by the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. In Broussard v. Stine Lumber Company WCA 11-168 (attached), the court held that the claimant’s alleged accident was not unexpected or unforeseen and that there was no “event” that caused the claimant’s injuries. In reaching its decision, Court of Appeal, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, found that the WCJ was manifestly erroneous in determining that claimant met her burden of proving an accident by a preponderance of the evidence. The court reasoned that the claimant’s own inconsistent and unreliable testimony and the testimonies of physicians who were not privy to an accurate or complete medical history, failed to prove that her injuries were caused or exacerbated by the lifting of paint cans. The employer in this case, Stine Lumber, was represented by Christopher P. Ieyoub, Partner in the Lake Charles insurance defense firm of Plauché, Smith & Nieset, LLC.
Plauché, Smith & Nieset, LLC is engaged in the insurance defense practice, concentrating on insurance defense litigation and business litigation in Calcasieu Parish, Cameron Parish, Jefferson Davis Parish, Allen Parish, and Beauregard Parish. Plauché, Smith & Nieset also engages in the insurance defense practice throughout the state of Louisiana.