Moore v. Omega Protein Corporation et al

Filing 117

ORDER and REASONS denying 115 Motion for Summary Judgment, as stated within document. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 8/7/2014. (Reference: 10-311, 13-6448)(cbs)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA WILLIAM MOORE CIVIL ACTION VERSUS NO. 10-311 C/W 13-6448 ARNOLD & ITKIN, LLP, ET AL SECTION "N" (4) ORDER AND REASONS Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc. 115) filed by defendant Arnold & Itkin, LLP, seeking dismissal of plaintiff's legal malpractice claims against it. The motion is opposed by the plaintiff, William Moore (Rec. Doc. 116). The Court finds that material issues of fact exist such that the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED. In particular, the Court disagrees that this is a case requiring expert testimony regarding the breach of a standard of care. Rather, the claim involves whether defendant (plaintiff's counsel in the underlying litigation) conducted due diligence of all outstanding medical bills and maintenance and cure obligations, such that counsel's conduct was reasonable in accepting underlying defense counsel's representation1 that all such items had been paid, and, 1 The underlying defendants in plaintiff's Jones Act lawsuit (USDC-EDLA No. 10-311) were Omega Protein and M/V Racoon Point, which went to trial on January 10, 2011, and resulted in a judgment in favor of defendants. 1 consistent therewith, not opposing the underlying defendant's motion for directed verdict. Indeed, in failing to oppose the motion for directed verdict, and in accepting underlying defense counsel's representation that all medical expenses and maintenance and cure had been paid at the time of trial, defendant/movant herein is presumed to have investigated whether such amounts had, in fact, been paid, or in the alternative, whether sufficient grounds existed to oppose the motion for directed verdict. An additional issue exists as to whether counsel's failure to discover the unpaid Acadian Ambulance expenses was an error/omission which constituted negligence on the part of counsel. For these reasons, the defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc. 115) is DENIED. New Orleans, Louisiana, this 7th day of August, 2014. ________________________________________ KURT D. ENGELHARDT United States District Judge 2

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