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Ferrara v Lafayette Insurance – $3.5 million win

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Paralyzed woman awarded millions

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Brian was a true miracle worker. He put so many questions of doubt into the judge’s mind. The judge was conflicted until the very last minute and then ruled in my favor. The outcome was purely a result of the Capitelli Law Firm. 

Integrity

  • Brian J. Capitelli Named Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in New Orleans Area
  • Ralph Capitelli Named to Super Lawyers For Three Consecutive Years

Integrity

  • Brian J. Capitelli Named Top Criminal Defense Lawyer in New Orleans Area
  • Ralph Capitelli Named to Super Lawyers For Three Consecutive Years
Capitelli & Wicker Attorneys at Law | New Orleans, La

Commitment to the Community

Capitelli & Wicker attorneys are dedicated to the New Orleans area region and have given back their time and experience through several community organizations. Our attorneys have served on community and charitable boards and organizations in the following capacities:

  • President, Board Member, and Executive committee member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee
  • Former Board President and Member for Stuart Hall School for Boys
  • Past Chairman of the Jesuit High School Parents’ Annual Giving Drive
  • Past President of the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center
  • Mentor at the Good Shepherd School
  • Advisory committee of Sisters Servants of Mary
  • Board Member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
  • Recipient of Preservation Resource Center Award
  • Board member of the Positive Vibrations Foundation
  • President, Board Member, and Executive committee member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee
  • Former Board President and Member for Stuart Hall School for Boys
  • Past Chairman of the Jesuit High School Parents’ Annual Giving Drive
  • Past President of the New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center
  • Mentor at the Good Shepherd School
  • Advisory committee of Sisters Servants of Mary
  • Board Member of the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association
  • Recipient of Preservation Resource Center Award
  • Board member of the Positive Vibrations Foundation

PARALYZED WOMAN AWARDED MILLIONS

A Gonzales woman who was paralyzed in 2001 after her car skidded off a wet road won a $32.4 million jury verdict against Michelin Tire of North America on Saturday. Carey Wicker of New Orleans-based Capitelli and Wicker said his client, Drusilla Boudreaux, 54, would receive about $41.5 million, including interest.

A spokeswoman for Michelin said the tire manufacturer contends the accident was caused by driver error and is considering an appeal.

Wicker said the driver of the car had recently purchased two new tires from Gonzales Tire and Rubber Co., which installed them on the car’s front axle.

The dealer testified that Michelin never provided a warning with their tires that if a customer only buys two tires, they should go on the rear axle because it provides more control during wet weather driving.

Michelin spokeswoman Lynn Mann said Gonzales Tire didn’t get the BF Goodrich tires – a Michelin-owned brand – from Michelin, instead buying them from a wholesaler.

Mann said Michelin promotes either getting four new tires or putting two on the rear axle through its sales representatives, in field support, in its instructional videos and in written communication.

She said the company has even made an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” making the point.

“I don’t think that you put a story on NBC’s national morning show if it’s something you don’t believe and are trying to bury,” she said. “We recommend that to people routinely.”

In a news release, Wicker contended that although Michelin created a policy in April 2001 to put new tires on the rear axle when only two are replaced, it did not enforce the policy because it feared it would lose sales.

The attorneys made this point by citing a test case Michelin did with Costco, in which Costco was prohibited from putting new tires on the front axle. That case, Wicker said, resulted in some customer resistance to being told where to put the tires and a 2 percent loss in sales.

He said that was the reason Michelin didn’t enforce the practice.

Mann said that while the driver said she did not ask for the tires to go on the front axle, a Gonzales Tire official testified the driver said she wanted them on the front because she was going to sell the vehicle.

Mann said Michelin contends that while the accident was “unbelievably tragic,” it was unrelated to tire performance. She said the company felt it had made the case with its experts that the accident was caused by driver error.

The company will make the decision whether to appeal in the coming weeks, Mann said.

Wicker said Judge Pegram Mire presided over the five days of testimony, with the jury delivering a verdict early Saturday morning after almost six hours of deliberation.

Wicker said Boudreaux, now quadriplegic, has had to live in a nursing home since the accident and wants to go home.

“She can never be left alone,” he said. “She requires around-the-clock nursing care … and one of our big goals was to allow her to go home.”

Contact Louisiana Attorneys

Capitelli & Wicker understands that you have many choices when choosing an attorney. We are committed to representing all of our clients to the best of our abilities and strive to treat each of our clients the way we would want to be treated if we were in their shoes. It would be our honor to represent you.

Get in touch with us by either calling us at 504-582-2425 or scheduling a consultation online.

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