LOUISIANA - When Jane Leger, a partner at The Ferguson Law Firm, was asked to try a wrongful death case in Louisiana, she faced a challenging federal venue, a case that had been originally dismissed, and an expert witness who blamed her own client.
But despite the case’s circumstances, on Feb. 1 Leger’s work resulted in a $2.94 million jury verdict for her clients, the surviving family members of James May, a 58-year old valve repair technician.
According to a press release, 70 percent of the blame for the accident was levied against the defendant, Chevron Pipeline.
Chevron Pipeline’s top offer was $1,000,000, with their attorney advising the trial judge that, if the Mays’ family wanted more, they would have to come and get it, the release states.
“So, we did,” said Leger. “We had a thoughtful jury and we were able to secure every finding we needed to prevail in this very difficult case. I am thankful that the Mays’ family finally received the justice they deserved.”
The press release states that there were several hurdles along the way. First, the family had to convince the jury that there was a substantial nexus between Mays’ death and the Outer Continental Shelf.
“We could have essentially lost there,” Leger said.
Instead, the jury agreed with the Mays’ family and awarded $2.94 million spread across James Mays’ widow and three adult children.
Leger tried this lawsuit along with Jill S. Pierce, who also acted as lead trial counsel, and Lance Bradley, the Mays’ original attorneys. Pierce is also Leger’s twin sister.
“I always enjoy working with my sister,” Leger added. “To succeed like we did here for clients as deserving as these, is something special for both of us. It is also the fulfillment of a family legacy that honors our father who taught us the importance of a trial lawyer’s work.”
The verdict is another in a long line of workplace safety cases upon which Leger has placed her stamp. Her $18,000,000 verdict in another workplace safety case still ranks as 2017’s highest verdict in that category.
The Ferguson Law Firm maintains its principal office in Beaumont.