The firm was founded in 1945 by Warren O. Watson, Fred A. Blanche and Charles W. Wilson. Our main focus is Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice Defense, Products Liability Defense, Insurance Defense, Directors & Officers Liability, Business Law, Probate, Wills, Trust and Tax. We primarily represent Health Care Entities (systems, hospitals, physicians and clinics), Businesses, and Insurance Companies. The firm is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and has been chosen by peers for an AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory.
Since our law firm was founded, a general civil practice has been established encompassing the entire state of Louisiana. We presently devote a substantial portion of our effort towards medical, legal and architect malpractice defense; health care law; casualty defense, including coverage defense, directors & officers liability, automobile, home owners, business, general liability, toxic tort and products liability defense, including medical devices; commercial, corporate law and litigation; federal and state taxation; and worker's compensation defense. We have also handled substantial cases involving the defense of asbestos litigation, other toxic tort cases, and civil rights discrimination litigation.
The litigation section of this firm is capable of handling a large volume of cases in many areas of law including, but not limited to, casualty defense. Our firm has handled over 6,000 professional liability (medical and legal malpractice) claims over the past 25 years. We take pride in representing numerous insureds who have self-insured retentions, and self-insured clients who are willing to defend claims made against them rather than reaching a nuisance value settlement to avoid litigation.
Our firm has served as general counsel for a statewide hospital association since 1960. In that capacity, we have been asked to render legal opinions encompassing a wide variety of current health care issues and to assist with legislative issues. Our representation has included the filing of amicus briefs in critical cases pending in Louisiana state and federal courts. These cases have involved the constitutionality of the medical malpractice liability limit in Louisiana, medical staff privileging issues, discovery and admission of medical records, the duty of hospitals to render emergency services (EMTALA), bystander damages, blood transfusion cases, and allegations of administrative negligence. We have also assisted in drafting legislation including a recent amendment to the Louisiana Peer Review Statute which strengthened the ability of health care organizations to protect peer review records.
We have served as general counsel for a fully integrated health care delivery system based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana since the early 1950's, which includes two general hospitals with emergency rooms and fully staffed pharmacies, a school of nursing, employed and affiliated physicians and clinics, a health maintenance organization, a third party administrator, a chemical dependency unit, home health services, nursing homes and independent living facilities, a family practice training program, and emergency medicine, surgical medicine and internal medicine residency programs affiliated with a University. We also represent four (4) major hospitals along with many of their physicians, nurses, therapists, and technicians practicing in the Shreveport, Louisiana area. Through our many years of providing services to these clients, we have been called upon to represent them in connection with virtually all types of health care, medical malpractice, general liability, peer review, physicians contracts and similar medical issues, as well as general business, real estate and tax and tax exemption issues.
We have represented a group of statewide hospital association trust funds since their establishment on November 12, 1976. These funds are composed of over 60 self-insured hospitals and other health care providers located in various areas of the state of Louisiana. We also represent numerous other hospitals throughout Louisiana on a self-insured basis. Our work for these hospitals includes the defense of medical malpractice, general liability, workers' compensation and employee benefit claims. Our work also includes defense of blood transfusion cases, general advice and consultation, and conducting seminars on such matters as informed consent, living wills, medical records, incident reports, policies and procedures revisions, medical staff privileges, and contractual indemnity. Our records indicate that, since the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act was enacted in 1975, we have handled over 6,000 files involving claims against health care providers (hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, nurses and medical technicians). As a direct result of our representation of numerous hospitals in connection with their pending litigation, we have been called upon to render other services on their behalf comprising a wide variety of health care and non health care related legal issues.
Our firm has also represented several large insurers since 1945. We handle most lines of business, including premises, property and casualty, coverage matters, toxic tort, lender liability, successions and estates, professional liability, automobile trucking, and towing, worker's compensation and products liability. Our representation of these insurers covers the entire state of Louisiana on multiple lines of coverage including reservation of rights issues.
We have formed statewide association trust funds for hospitals, nursing homes and tow truck operators. Our work included drafts and execution of adjusting or claims contracts, general insurance agency contracts, risk management and/or TPA contracts, premium financing agreements, guaranty agreements and requirements for posting bonds to satisfy financial responsibility requirements for self-insureds under Louisiana law. These trusts provide self-insured malpractice, general liability and/or automobile coverage to members throughout Louisiana.