Louisiana Record

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Court upholds damages in ambulance crash involving West Jefferson Medical Center


By Danielle Pacey | Aug 18, 2018

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, State of Louisiana | FifthCircuit.org

NEW ORLEANS - A judge has refused to change the damages in a personal injury case appealed by both sides: the West Jefferson Medical Center and a family injured in an ambulance accident.

Both the injured Latulippe family and West Jefferson Medical Center had appealed the trial judgment before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal of Louisiana. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed with the district court's decision; the amounts of damages issued to the Latulippe family will stand. 

The judge panel found that the trial court did not abuse power of discretion to either side when awarding damages. The Latulippe family will recover no extra damages, and West Jefferson Medical Center should fit the bill for injuries based on previous case law, according to the decision on Aug. 10.

West Jefferson Medical Center is arguing that the damages awarded are too much. The Latulippe family, injured in the accident, claim they were awarded too little in damages for the injuries suffered.

At issue is an April 2015 accident on the Crescent City Connection Bridge, where a medical center ambulance slammed into  the back of a truck  that had stopped.

Plaintiffs Gerard and Casey Latulippe filed suit against West Jefferson Medical Center for injuries from the accident. 

The case originally went to trial on Oct. 23, 2017, in the 24th Judicial District Court. Their wives also filed suit for loss of enjoyment of life and significant damages to their marital relationships based on the accident.

Gerard and Casey Latulippe's vehicle was hit on April 18, 2015, by a West Jefferson Medical Center ambulance driven by Jeremy Braun. The ambulance driver allegedly did not brake to avoid hitting the Latulippes.  The ambulance driver alleged he was trying to avoid injuring the EMT and patient in the back of the ambulance.  

The Latulippes sustained significant injuries from the ambulance accident in which they were awarded general damages, special damages, future physical therapy and prescription money by the trial court.  

Casey Latulippe received pay for past wages. Their wives also received consortium pay for loss of normalcy in their relationships.

West Jefferson Medical Center argued that the general damages awarded to Casey and Daniel Latulippe were too high and that future physical therapy damages should not have been awarded at all.

Casey Latulippe argued the general damages of $200,000 awarded to him was too low.  Both Casey and Daniel also argued they were entitled to diminished capacity earnings claims, which were not awarded to them in district court.

NO. 18-CA-83

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