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Jury Verdict

$23,000,000.00

Derek’s Story — Boat Crash - Wrongful Death

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TRUTH + COURAGE

In 2014, Aaron Broussard and Randall Hart were hired 3 weeks before trial and obtained a $23 million punitive damage verdict for Derek's family. The case set new precedent for punitive damages in Louisiana and for maritime cases across the country. 

https://www.lasc.org/opinions/2017/16C1647.OPN.pdf

 The recent victory in the case of Ron Warren, individually and on behalf of the estate of Derek Hebert vs. Teleflex, Inc., was the result of a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the surviving family members of Derek Hebert. Derek was a 20 year old college student who was heading to celebrate Contraband Days on Lake Charles in a 21 foot boat on May 7, 2005. 

Evidence presented at trial showed that the boat took a sudden and violent turn to the left which caused Derek and several other passengers to be thrown overboard. Sadly, Derek was almost immediately run over by the propeller of the boat, causing fatal injuries.  

 The case was originally tried in 2014 with a verdict for the defense; however, Plaintiff’s attorneys appealed that verdict on the grounds that Teleflex misled the court on the applicability of a 2006 owner’s manuals to the involved 1998 product. A new trial was granted. At the new trial, the Plaintiffs were victorious, winning $125,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $23 million in punitive damages. Because the case was brought under general maritime law, punitive damages were available if the defendant acted with “wanton and reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others.” 

Truth + Courage

“This was an extremely difficult case to handle in the courtroom.” Having 30 years experience as a trial judge made all the difference.”

AARON BROUSSARD

Co-Lead Trial Attorney along with Randall Hart

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