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Prominent River Parishes area attorney passes away following lengthy battle with leukemia

2 years 7 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, April 08 2020 Apr 8, 2020 April 08, 2020 9:25 AM April 08, 2020 in News
Source: WWL-TV
Prominent Louisiana attorney, Daniel "Danny" Becnel Jr., died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with leukemia.  Photo: WWL-TV

LAPLACE, La. — A prominent trial lawyer in the River Parishes area has passed away; WWL-TV reports that Daniel "Danny" Becnel Jr., died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with leukemia. 

Becnel, who played a role in dozens of major lawsuits over the years, became seriously ill in late 2015, shortly after an unsuccessful campaign to become St. John the Baptist Parish's President. 

While wrestling with his own illness, he underwent surgery to donate a kidney to his brother Robert, who is also a lawyer. 

Though Becnel had retired from his law practice, which handled included personal injury and class action cases, he was still known as “the king of torts.” Over the years, his targets included the tobacco industry, chemical companies and major corporations.

Becnel led class-action lawsuits following the 2010 BP oil disaster and the 1988 explosion at Shell’s Norco refinery. He also represented Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a 2013 lawsuit over tax credits and Saints head coach Sean Payton, and dozens of other plaintiffs, in a 2010 over tainted Chinese drywall.

Following Hurricane Katrina, he was a lead lawyer in a $330 million settlement against Murphy Oil over a tank spill during the storm that unleashed more than 1 million gallons of oil in several St. Bernard Parish neighborhoods.

The well-known attorney was 75 years old when he passed away. 

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