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Rhyne v. OMNI Energy Services Corp.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 10, 2014

ROBERT H. RHYNE, JR. AND BRENT TRAUTH
v.
OMNI ENERGY SERVICES CORP

Page 156

APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT. PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 2013-4316 C/W2009-3396. HONORABLE GLENNON P. EVERETT, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Randy Paul Angelle, Boyer, Hebert, Abels & Angelle, LLC, Breaux Bridge, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendants/Appellees - Edward E. Colson, III, Dennis R. Sciotto, and Ronald E. Gerevas.

Alan K. Breaud, Timothy Wayne Basden, Breaud & Meyers, APLC, Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiff/Appellee - OMNI Energy Services Corp..

David Michael Kaufman, Elmore, Griffin, Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendants/Appellants - Robert H. Rhyne, Jr. and Brent Trauth.

André F. Toce, The Toce Firm, PLC, Broussard, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendants/Appellants - Robert H. Rhyne, Jr. and Brent Trauth.

Robert Joseph Burns, Jr., Baton Rouge, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - XL Specialty Casualty Company.

David Michael Thorguson, Bourgeois Thorguson, L.L.C., Morgan City, LA, COUNSEL FOR: Defendans/Appellees - Edward E. Colson, III, Dennis R. Sciotto, and Ronald E. Gerevas.

Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R. Cooks, and J. David Painter, Judges.

OPINION

Page 157

[14-711 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] THIBODEAUX, Chief Judge.

This dispute boasts a lengthy and complex procedural history, in which Robert H. Rhyne, Jr. and Brent Trauth appeal a Lafayette Parish trial court judgment that (1) denied appellants' exception of lack of jurisdiction, (2) granted appellee's exception of no cause of action, and (3) granted defendant XL Specialty Insurance's motion for summary judgment. Appellants Rhyne and Trauth asserted claims against OMNI Energy Services (OMNI), seven OMNI Directors, XL Specialty Insurance Company, Richard Mager, and Cove Properties, LLC in federal court, Iberia Parish, St. Martin Parish, and Lafayette Parish. The claims asserted related to a Stock Purchase and Sales Agreement (SPSA) between OMNI and Preheat Inc., sold by Rhyne and Trauth.

All claims against OMNI and the directors in their capacity as directors were ultimately dismissed in St. Martin Parish. Three directors then remained in the litigation for acts or omissions outside of their director capacity. The suit was transferred to Lafayette Parish and consolidated with a suit previously filed by OMNI against Rhyne and Trauth. That original Lafayette suit was appealed and a decision rendered by this Court in Omni Energy Services Corp. v. Robert H. Rhyne, Jr., et al., 14-251 c/w 14-322, 14-323 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/15/14), __ So.3d __. The remaining defendants in the current suit now before this Court were dismissed by the trial court via a grant of no cause of action and motion for summary judgment.

Reasoning that (1) the trial court had jurisdiction to hear the exceptions, (2) appellants have no right of action to maintain the suit after they confessed no claims against the directors outside their capacity as OMNI directors [14-711 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] exist, and (3) XL Specialty Insurance Company is not liable to Rhyne and Trauth, we affirm the trial court's April 14, 2014 judgment as amended.

I.

ISSUES

We are entreated to consider whether:

1. the trial court had jurisdiction to rule on the exception of no cause of action and motion for summary judgment when the question of venue was on appeal in the consolidated case.
2. the portion of the appeal relating to the April 26, 2011 judgment should be stricken ...

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