LIONEL A. BUTLER AND JENNIFER BUTLER, INDIVIDUALLY AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF THEIR MINOR CHILDREN, LYNELL BUTLER AND MAGGIE BUTLER; AND BRIAN A. RUFFIN
ZATHAN BOUTAN, MOTEL 6 OPERATING, L.P. AND ACCOR NORTH AMERICA, INC
On Appeal from the 18th Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of West Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana. Trial Court No. 38,713. Honorable James J. Best, Judge Presiding.
Cy J. D'Aquila, Jr., New Roads, LA, Attorney for Plaintiffs-Appellants, Lionel Butler, Jennifer Butler, Lynell Butler, Maggie Butler, and Brian A. Ruffin.
Michael R. Sistrunk, Matthew J. Garver, Linda A. Tafaro, Covington, LA, Attorneys for Defendants-Appellees, Motel 6 Operating, L.P. and Accor North America, LA.
Fred Schroeder, New Orleans, LA, Attorney for Defendant-Appellee, Zathan Boutan.
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.
[2014 1058 La.App. 1 Cir. 2]
The trial court dismissed the plaintiffs' claims on summary judgment, ruling that a motel could not be held vicariously liable for the actions of an independent contractor working as a security guard at the motel. For the following reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Deputy Zathan V. Boutan, of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office (hereafter referred to as the " Sheriff's Office" ), contracted for and coordinated an extra-duty security detail at the Motel 6 in Port Allen, Louisiana. Deputy Boutan sometimes worked the nightly security shift himself, but he also scheduled other deputies to cover the shifts that were paid by the Motel 6. All of the deputies drove their Sheriff's Office patrol cars and wore their Sheriff's Office deputy uniforms, complete with weapons and mace/pepper spray, while working the Motel 6 extra-duty security detail. The Motel 6 did not provide any training to the deputies, but merely supplied each deputy with a radio and a schedule that outlined a security checklist regarding doors and lights around the premises. The deputies had control over the order and timing for performing the items on the checklist during the extra-duty shifts.
Before the scheduled night shift on July 31, 2009, the Motel 6 manager contacted Deputy Boutan at his home in order to discuss a problem at the Motel 6 pool where a motel guest was apparently hosting a children's pool party. Deputy Boutan arrived at the Motel 6 in his patrol car and dressed in his extra-duty deputy uniform. Upon arrival, Deputy Boutan proceeded to confront the Motel 6 guest, Brian Ruffin, about having too many guests for the two rooms Ruffin had purchased
for the night. Deputy Boutan informed Ruffin that he and his guests had thirty minutes to vacate the pool. According to Deputy Boutan, Ruffin began cursing, yelling, threatening, and generally disturbing the peace. Deputy Boutan surmised from Ruffin's demeanor that Ruffin was a problem, so he instructed [2014 1058 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] Ruffin to either leave the Motel 6 premises or be subject to arrest. However, the Motel 6 manager never directed Deputy Boutan to arrest anyone in connection with the incident. When Ruffin demanded a refund of his money, Deputy Boutan escorted him to ...