Gerard Dragna and J. Edward McAuliffe, III, Obtain No Fault Jury Verdict in Trucking Case

After a long jury trial in St. Martinville, Louisiana, MBLB trucking and transportation (a.k.a. “Wheels”) attorneys Gerard Dragna and Edward McAuliffe won a resounding zero liability verdict from a St. Martin Parish jury. 

This trial, lasting from January 3 until January 23, 2024, revolved around a 2015, multi-18-wheeler, chain reaction accident on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in the heart of Cajun country. The plaintiffs, occupying another 18-wheeler two vehicles behind MBLB‘s client, sued multiple vehicles in this chain reaction accident. Some, including MBLB’s clients, were not sued until years after the accident. 

The attorneys in MBLB’s trucking and transportation section maintained that their client bore no responsibility for this accident. The trial included the examination and cross-examination of multiple drivers and accident reconstruction experts on both sides of this case. Mr. Dragna and Mr. McAuliffe were able to convince the jury that, if anything was clear, it was that their client could not have been responsible for the plaintiffs’ claimed injuries.

Plaintiffs also claimed that multiple surgeries were related to the accident, asking the jury to award them approximately $7.4 million combined. In the end, after hearing all the medical and impeachment evidence, the jury found Plaintiffs’ damages, including both special and general damages, were only about $159,000 and $139,000, respectively.

“We received this assignment years ago,” noted Mr. Dragna. “We stuck to our guns, fought for years through many trial delays and, once in trial, many attempts to misdirect the jury. Keeping up that hard fight to the bitter end helped truth prevail.”

Said Mr. McAuliffe, “We also thank the citizen jurors of St. Martin Parish. These people are the heart of Louisiana, hard workers and the true salt of the earth. The jurors sat through many days of trial, taking weeks away from their lives. Yet they always remained attentive, listened intently to every bit of testimony, and cut through the ‘noise’ to find the truth.”