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Lowenthal and Fischer Zero Plaintiff Before Jefferson Parish Jury
October 27, 2004

Litigation partners Joseph Lowenthal and Madeleine Fischer successfully defended client Ochsner Medical Foundation d/b/a/ Elmwood Fitness Center in a recent seven-day jury trial in Jefferson Parish.  The plaintiff, a subcontractor's employee, claimed he was totally and permanently disabled by injuries from a fall while he was repairing damage caused by the historic May 1995 flood.  Plaintiff’s attorney asked for nearly $1.4 million, but Lowenthal and Fischer convinced the jury that the plaintiff was a “statutory employee” of Elmwood, that is, that the work he was doing when injured was part of Elmwood’s own business – a total defense to a tort claim.  Litigation associate Emily Eagan assisted in the case taking a writ to the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on an evidentiary issue on the second day of trial.  The Fifth Circuit granted the writ, ruling in Elmwood’s favor that witnesses would not be permitted to refer to findings of the Social Security Administration that the plaintiff was totally and permanently disabled. Walker v. Elmwood, No. 494-933, 24th Judicial District for Jefferson Parish (verdict rendered 10/26/04).