Louisiana is a “direct action” state, meaning a plaintiff may name an insurer in a lawsuit. In most other states, if you bring a personal injury lawsuit, you cannot name the insurance carrier in that lawsuit. Louisiana on the other hand was one of the first to enact a direct action statute. It expresses Louisiana’s long public policy that “an insurance policy against liability is not issued primarily for the protection of the insured but for the protection of the public.” Davies v. Consolidated Underwriters, (La. 1942).
Who’s at Fault and How Much?
The term “comparative fault” refers to a system of apportioning damages between negligent parties based on their proportionate shares of fault. Under a comparative fault system, a plaintiff’s negligence will not completely bar recovery like states that employ the harsh contributory negligence rule, but it will reduce the amount of damages the plaintiff can recover based on the plaintiff’s percentage of fault. The “pure comparative fault rule” allows a damaged party to recover even if it is 99% at fault, although the recovery is reduced by the damaged party’s degree of fault.
Plaintiff filed suit against a hospital when he developed an infection following spine surgery. Defendant filed an exception of prematurity, arguing that it was a qualified healthcare provider under the Medical Malpractice Act (MMA) and that Plaintiff’s claims had not yet been presented to a medical review panel. The district court granted the exception as to all of Plaintiff’s allegations with the exception of the allegation that Defendant failed to properly maintain and service all equipment utilized in the sterilization process.