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Voinche v. Capps

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 10, 2014

JULIA B. VOINCHE, ET AL.
v.
JOSEPH BEAUD CAPPS, ET AL

Page 147

APPEAL FROM THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF AVOYELLES, NO. 2012-7965 - DIVISION B. HONORABLE WILLIAM J. BENNETT, DISTRICT JUDGE.

David M. Ellison, Jr., Ellison & Ellison, Baton Rouge, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLANTS: Beaud & Fontaine, L.L.C., Beaud & Capps, L.L.C., Beaud Farms, L.L.C., Beaud Farms, A Partnership, Charles Beaud, L.L.C.

Stacey Moak, Jonathan D. Mayeux, Christopher W. Stidham, James C. Underhill, Stacy Moak & Associates, Baton Rouge, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Charles Beaud, Individually.

Andrew L. Plauché, Jr., James K. Ordeneau, Babin Claivele, Plauché, Maselli, Parkerson, LLP, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Company.

Rodney M. Rabalais, Marksville, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLEES: Celeste Voinche Gauthier, Samantha K. Voinche, Julia B. Voinche, Christopher G. Voinche.

Kenny L. Oliver, David Oliver Way, Oliver & Way, Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES: Joseph Beaud Capps, Permanent General Assurance Company.

W. Ransom Pipes, Hannah, Colvin, & Pipes, L.L.P., Baton Rouge, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Travelers Property Casualty Company of America.

Donald R. Klotz, Jr., Casler Bordelon & Lawler, Metairie, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES: Joseph Beaud Capps, Progressive Security Insurance Co.

Seth Andrew Schmeeckle, Daniel Bernard Centner, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Travelers Property Casualty Company of America.

Court composed of Marc T. Amy, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and Billy Howard Ezell, Judges.

OPINION

Page 148

[14-671 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] AMY, Judge.

After Nickie Voinche[1] died as a result of a motor vehicle accident allegedly caused by Joseph Beaud Capps, Mr. Voinche's heirs brought this wrongful death and survival action. The instant issue concerns a motion for summary judgment filed by Mr. Capps and his insurer, seeking a determination that he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Charles Beaud, one of Mr. Capps' purported employers, filed a cross motion for summary judgment seeking a determination that he was not Mr. Capps' employer and to be dismissed from the case. The trial court granted Mr. Capps' motion for summary judgment and denied Mr. Beaud's motion for summary judgment. Mr. Beaud, his insurer, and Beaud Farms now appeal. For the following reasons, we reverse, render judgment, and remand for further proceedings.

Factual and Procedural Background

According to the allegations in the record, at approximately six o'clock a.m. on a Saturday morning in September 2011, Joseph Beaud Capps and Brian Major were driving northbound and Nickie Voinche was driving southbound on Louisiana Highway 1 in Pointe Coupee Parish. Mr. Capps was driving a vehicle he had borrowed from a friend, Joseph Garrett. Mr. Voinche was driving a truck owned by his employer, Gilchrist Construction Co., LLC. Mr. Major's vehicle was in front of Mr. Capps' vehicle, and, when Mr. Major slowed down to make a right- hand turn, Mr. Capps struck Mr. Major's vehicle on the driver's side rear corner, went to the center line, and struck Mr. Voinche's vehicle head-on. Mr. Voinche was killed as a result of the accident.

[14-671 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] The plaintiffs, Julia Voinche, Christopher Voinche, Celeste Voinche Gauthier, and Samantha Voinche, are Mr. Voinche's wife and children. They filed the pending wrongful death and survival action against Mr. Capps, Progressive Security Insurance

Page 149

Company, Permanent General Insurance Company, Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company, Charles Beaud d/b/a Beaud Farms, Beaud Farms (a partnership comprised of Charles Beaud, LLC, Beaud & Capps, LLC, and Beaud & Fontaine, LLC), and Travelers Property Casualty Company of America. Mr. Capps and Progressive subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that there was no genuine issue of material fact and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of law with regard to the issue of whether Mr. Capps was in the course and scope of his employment ...


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