Jeanette Riggins is a trial attorney with a wealth of experience. In addition to serving as the partner-in-charge of MG+M’s New Orleans and Mississippi offices, she currently serves on the National Trial Team for multiple clients and regularly appears in state and federal courts in various states. Beyond this work, Jeanette is also a member of the National Coordinating Counsel and Regional Coordinating Counsel teams for several of the firm’s clients, managing and supervising local counsel in the defense of companies. Jeanette has received Martindale Hubbell’s prestigious AV Preeminent Rating and was also recognized as one of the 2020 Best Lawyers in America. Her practice primarily focuses on products liability, general liability, toxic tort, construction litigation, insurance defense, and premises liability claims. Jeanette has defended an extensive array of clients including product manufacturers, suppliers, contractors, employers, premise defendants, executive officers, and insurance companies. In the context of products liability, she has defended a diverse group of clients including manufacturers and/or suppliers of friction products, gaskets, packing, pumps, joint compound, asbestos containing pipe, explosion proof fittings, circuit breakers, arc chutes, and cosmetic talcum powder products. Jeanette has also defended against environmental litigation claims, including claims related to benzene exposure, as well as environmental contamination from dry cleaning operations.
Jeanette earned her J.D. from Tulane University School of Law in 2000. While in law school, she was a member of the Tulane Moot Court Board, and winner of the 2000 Phelps Dunbar Senior Trial Competition. Upon graduation, she served as a law clerk to the honorable J. Sterling Snowdy, Madeline Jasmine, and Mary Becnel of the 40th Judicial District Court, State of Louisiana.
Jeanette is admitted to practice law in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as before the United States District Courts for all Districts of Louisiana, the Southern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
In addition to being a member of the bar associations for all states in which she is admitted to practice, Jeanette is a member of the Houston Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association, the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Association, and the Defense Research Institute. She is also a member of the distinguished Trial Advocacy faculty at Louisiana State University.
Over the past decade, Jeanette has served as trial counsel for a number of clients, including contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers in asbestos lawsuits across the country.
Recently, Jeanette and her trial partner won a motion for a directed verdict for the defense in an asbestos trial in Baltimore City Circuit Court by focusing at trial on the plaintiff’s assumption of risk, a novel legal tactic in Maryland asbestos litigation.
Shortly thereafter, Jeanette also won a motion for summary judgment on behalf of a mechanical contractor client in an Orleans Parish, Louisiana asbestos lung cancer lawsuit. Plaintiff’s counsel alleged that the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos from various products as a result of working around pipefitters employed by the Defendant contractor. At the close of discovery, Ms. Riggins moved for summary judgment on behalf of her client. Ms. Riggins outlined for the court that summary judgment was warranted, because the defendant contractor’s work at the plaintiff’s worksite involved only the installation of new piping. Importantly, the plaintiff admitted at his deposition that he did not know if the defendant engaged in any activity that exposed him to asbestos and further acknowledged that he was only "guessing" as to whether the defendant contractor was even at the specific worksite where he claimed asbestos exposure. Finally, Ms. Riggins argued that even if defendant performed work at the worksite in question during the same time period that the plaintiff worked there, the mere presence of Defendant at the facility was not sufficient evidence to establish that defendant’s activities exposed the plaintiff to asbestos, and was therefore not sufficient to defeat summary judgment. The court, after considering the oral argument and briefs of both parties, granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff's counsel did not present evidence sufficient to establish that he will be able to satisfy his burden of proof at trial that the defendant’s activities were a substantial factor to the plaintiff’s development of lung cancer.