Judge denies summary judgment in case involving Saints

Alejandro de los Rios Jul. 23, 2010, 11:35am

Judge Herbert Cade denied a motion for summary judgment on July 23 in a worker's liability case against Mardis Gras Productions and the New Orleans Saints in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Timothy Barrett Sr. is suing Mardi Gras Productions, their employee Bernard Garnett Sr., the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED) and the New Orleans Saints after a pipe fell and struck Barrett as he was helping to put up Saints banners in the Louisiana Superdome.

New Orleans attorney Michael Grennan filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Mardi Gras and Garnett, claiming that, because Barnett was a temporary employee of Mardi Gras Productions, all claims are barred by Louisiana Worker's Compensation law.

Cade denied the motion, ruling that Mardi Gras and Garneet can still be held liable for damages in this suit.

Chalmette attorney John Finkbeiner Jr. filed the original petition for damages in August 2004. The suit claims that the defense parties are liable "under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor" and that they failed to properly use safety equipment and maintain a safe working atmosphere. The original petition did not include the LSED or the Saints.

In August 2006, the Louisiana Safety Association of Timbermen – Self Insurers Fund (LSAT) filed a petition for intervention through Alexandria attorney Joseph Bailey. The intervention claimed that, should judgment be found in favor of Barrett, the LSAT was entitled to all indemnity paid.

LSAT had been sued to pay worker's compensation for the same accident. The matter was dropped in September 2008 after a joint motion for dismissal was filed by LSAT and Barrett's counsel stating that the "matter has been compromised."

Finkbeiner filed an amended petition naming the LSED as a defendant in January 2010. A second amended petition in March 2010 listed the Saints as defense. Both amended petitions claimed the saints had failed to follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines to prevent the accident from happening.

Orleans Parish Case 2004-11443

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