Louisiana Court of Appeals Sets Aside Trial Court Order in Chemical Fumes Exposure Case

Hawkins Parnell & Young secured vacatur of Louisiana court order purporting to certify a class of potentially hundreds of persons who worked in the City Hall Annex in New Orleans. In the released opinion, the Louisiana Court of Appeals agreed that the trial court had not properly defined the purported class in this “sick building” case. The plaintiffs claim that release of chemical fumes over a period of many years caused them to suffer various ailments. Hawkins Parnell's client, NID Corporation, and the other defendants, Pan American Life (former owner of the building) and the City of New Orleans argued, among other things, that the trial court failed to certify a proper class. The court of appeals did not reach the defendants’ other arguments asserting that the case is not proper for class certification in the first instance. Hawkins Parnell partner Robert Gilbreath briefed the case and argued it for NID Corporation.