James H. Roussel - Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

James H. Roussel

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2001

Jimmy Roussel is senior counsel in the Firm's New Orleans office.  He practices in the areas of marine insurance coverage disputes, cargo damage claims, maritime allisions and collisions, commercial transactions including financing (conventional, leveraged lease, and Title XI), public offerings of the securities of marine companies, ship construction contracts, salvage contracts, sales contracts, and ocean and inland chartering agreements.  His areas of experience also include litigating matters arising from these transactions. 

Mr. Roussel represents maritime employers and vessel owners and operators, dock and terminal owners, and Underwriters in connection with collisions, allisions, sinkings and cargo damage claims.  He represents general liability and marine Underwriters in regard to coverage issues involving a broad range of marine, general liability, excess and umbrella forms of coverage, including representation of Underwriters' interest in litigation arising out of coverage disputes.  He also represents ship owners, charterers and lenders in commercial transactions.

During the course of his career, Mr. Roussel has been involved in numerous large-scale casualties. He represented Underwriters and the vessel owner in regard to the M/V BRIGHT FIELD allision with the New Orleans Riverwalk in December 1996. The matter involved over 1,800 personal injury claims and approximately 400 business interruption and property damage claims against the clients. He has also represented a pipeline company in two separate class actions lawsuits in regard to damage to its natural gas pipeline and a resultant release of a cloud of natural gas. The combined class actions involved approximately 11,500 claims for personal injury. Both suits were the first class actions tried in Louisiana and taken to the Louisiana Supreme Court. They were subsequently settled after remand from the Supreme Court for damages trials.

Mr. Roussel has also represented the largest ammonia storage facility in the United States in regard to an ammonia release. There were approximately 4,900 claims filed claiming personal injuries and seeking punitive damages. He represented the Underwriters of a refinery in regard to an explosion of a ROSE heater. There were approximately 4,000 claims filed for both personal injury and property damage.

Mr. Roussel was the lead counsel for the dredging interests in connection with claims asserted by approximately 50,000 residents of New Orleans as a result of the flooding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, allegedly due to bank erosion caused by the dredging of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

Dartmouth CollegeTulane University School of Law, J.D.J.D. 1964
American Maritime CasesAssociation of Average Adjusters of the United States Louisiana and New Orleans Bar Associations Maritime Law Association of the United States (Committee on Marine Financing and Committee on Marine Insurance)

Case History

Representative Transactions
  • AFRICAN STAR/MIDWEST CITIES collision in the Mississippi River
  • UNION FAITH/WARREN DOUCET collision in the Mississippi River
  • MARINER I blow-out and explosion offshore Trinidad
  • MIYUNHAI/OVERSEAS ALEUTIAN collision in the Panama Canal
  • BISCAY 30 sinking while towing MASTER PETROS in Mississippi River
  • MARIKA sinking in North Atlantic
  • McDERMOTT DB-29 capsizing in the South China Sea
  • AZALEA SEA allision with Nashville Avenue Wharf in New Orleans
  • OSLO LADY fire and explosion in Chaguramas, Trinidad
  • YA MAWLAYA/NEW WORLD collision off Gibraltar
  • NEPTUNE CENTAURUS/LANEY BLESSEY collision in the Houston ship channel
  • M/V BRIGHT FIELD allision with New Orleans Riverwalk
  • CHRISTINE CENAC/AMERICAN HERITAGE collision and 69,000 gallon oil spill in the Mississippi River
  • Loss of Petronius Platform in Gulf of Mexico
  • IVAN SUSANIN/ANANGEL ENDEAVOUR collision in Gulf of Mexico

Office Location

201 Saint Charles Avenue, Suite 3600
New Orleans, LA 70170
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants of the New Orleans Metro Area2012 Lawyer of the Year in Admiralty and Maritime Law of the New Orleans Metro Area
James H. Roussel has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!James H. Roussel has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Admiralty and Maritime Law
Bet-the-Company Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
Oil and Gas Law

Other Information

Gender: Male