State files suit against Orleans Parish School Board in workers’ compensation case

NEW ORLEANS— The State of Louisiana is suing the Orleans Parish School Board over an employee's workers’ compensation claim. The State of Louisiana, Office of the Governor, Division of Administration, Office of Risk Management through the Department of Health and Hospitals and Metropolitan Human Service District filed the complaint against the Board and Doris A. Powell on Aug. 16. The plaintiffs claim that the Orleans Parish School Board and Powell are indebted to the state for workers’ compensation benefits paid with legal interest and all costs of the proceedings. The defendants are accused of sole negligence in connection with the health problems Powell experienced while working at an office building on General Meyer Avenue. The suit claims the School Board failed to maintain the premises for the safety of its employees, failed to regularly inspect for mold, maintained a condition known to be inherently dangerous and/or defective, permitted conditions after being notified, failed to warn employees, and lacked a plan to prevent mold-related injuries. The State claims that it has paid $910.03 in medical expenses as a result of the incident in August 2013 when Powell moved into the moldy building and they may be obligated to pay them in the future. An unspecified amount in damages is sought in “subrogation interest against all defendants for past and future compensation payments paid or to be paid, for or on behalf of Doris A. Powell.” The plaintiffs are represented by James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General. The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase. Case no. 2013-07771.

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