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Citadel Builders, L.L.C. v. Dirt Worx of La., L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

November 25, 2014

CITADEL BUILDERS, L.L.C.
v.
DIRT WORX OF LOUISIANA, L.L.C

Page 118

ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 725-313, DIVISION " M" . HONORABLE HENRY G. SULLIVAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING.

LLOYD N. SHIELDS, JEFFREY K. PRATTINI, ASHLEY B. ROBINSON, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, New Orleans, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.

DAVID L. NEEB, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Marc E. Johnson, and Stephen J. Windhorst.

OPINION

MARC E. JOHNSON, J.

Page 119

[14-495 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] Defendant, Dirt Worx of Louisiana, L.L.C. (" Dirt Worx" ), appeals a confirmation of default judgment finding it liable to Plaintiff, Citadel Builders, L.L.C. (" Citadel Builders" ), in the amount of $1,256,205.39. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Citadel Builders filed a petition for damages on March 27, 2013 against Dirt Worx, alleging Dirt Worx breached a contract to provide demolition work, earthwork and a storm drainage system on a certain construction project. Citadel Builders stated that it had entered into a contract with the Hospital Service District for St. Bernard Parish for the construction of the St. Bernard Parish Hospital. Citadel Builders then entered into a subcontract with Dirt Worx for the stated work on the project. In connection with its subcontract with Dirt Work, Citadel Builders alleged that Dirt Worx failed to pay its [14-495 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] suppliers, vendors and subcontractors despite having invoiced and having received payment from Citadel Builders. As a result of this failure, Citadel Builders maintained it had to pay Dirt Worx's suppliers, vendors and

Page 120

subcontractors. Citadel Builders also asserted Dirt Worx failed to complete the work under the contract, thus requiring Citadel Builders to pay other contractors to complete the work. Citadel Builders sought damages under the contract in the amount of $1,306,669.54.

On April 26, 2013, Citadel Builders filed a motion for preliminary default, stating that Dirt Worx was served with the citation and petition on April 10, 2013 and had yet to respond to the petition. The trial court entered a preliminary default the same day.

On May 30, 2013, a letter from Dirt Worx to Citadel Builders' attorney, Ashley Robinson, was filed into the record. The letter, signed by Dirt Worx's registered agent Leigh Saia, stated, in its totality:

I'm writing in response to your petition for damages as outlined in case 725-313 Citadel Builders. Dirt Worx of Louisiana, LLC denies all claims mentioned. If you have any supporting documents to your claim, please forward them to our office for review.

The Clerk of Court for the 24th Judicial District Court filed the letter as an " Answer to Original Petition" and charged a filing fee for the " answer," which ...


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