President Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States of America, gave his second inauguration speech on Monday, January 21, 2013, also the annual celebration of the birth date of civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Obama began his speech by referencing the ultimate law of the United States: our Constitution.
Rodney & Etter, LLC (“R&E”) has a long history of supporting civil rights and promoting justice and equality for all. Last year, R&E was honored to receive the Louisiana Minority Supplier Development Council Professional Supplier Award of 2012.
R&E continues to fight for civil rights, wherever and whenever it sees injustice. In September of 2012, R&E filed a lawsuit against the City of New Orleans and others, for its violations of civil rights. Kimberly Crutchfield was driving at night on the highway, when she suddenly came upon an NOPD car that was parked haphazardly across two lanes and beyond the slope of the highway, out of sight. Ms. Crutchfield died within 6 hours of the car accident, leaving behind two small children.
The case is a tragedy in itself, but what is even more of a tragedy is the fact that, according to Louisiana statute, all vehicles operating on Louisiana roads must have insurance, except for government-owned vehicles. Even if a citizen successfully maintains a claim against the City, the Louisiana Constitution allows governmental entities to decide if or when they pay judgments rendered against them. This is a Catch-22 that should tell all citizens of Louisiana: beware of getting injured by your government.
On January 25, 2013, Roy J. Rodney, Jr. argued in the Civil District Court of New Orleans that Ms. Crutchfield’s family had rights to sue the City of New Orleans for a meaningful judgment. Chief Judge Piper Griffin denied the City’s filed exception to dismiss the case, allowing R&E to fight another day. R&E is undeterred by the prospect of a tough legal battle to protect the constitutional and civil rights of Ms. Crutchfield’s family.