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Lastie v. Cooper

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

December 23, 2014

VON R. LASTIE
v.
SKY A. COOPER, RONNIE C. HARRIS, CITY OF GRETNA, ABC INSURANCE COMPANY AND DEF INSURANCE COMPANY

ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA, NO. 714-831, DIVISION " F" . HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING.

AFFIRMED.

JAMES E. SHIELDS, SR., ATTORNEY AT LAW, Gretna, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

JEFFERY P. BROTHERS, MARK C. MORGAN, DAVID L. COLVIN, TRAVIS J. CAUSEY, JR., ATTORNEYS AT LAW, Gretna, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert A. Chaisson, and Hans J. Liljeberg.

OPINION

HANS J. LILJEBERG, J.

Page 151

[14-561 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] In this personal injury lawsuit, plaintiff, Von Lastie, appeals a summary judgment granted in favor of defendants, the City of Gretna and Ronnie Harris. For the following reasons, we affirm the summary judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The record reflects that in the summer of 2011, Mr. Lastie was directly employed by Temps Today Staffing, Inc. (" Temps Today" ) and he was assigned to perform work for the City of Gretna (" Gretna" ). On the morning of August 19, 2011, he was working with a grass-cutting crew. After working with the crew to cut grass in one location, Mr. Lastie and another worker got into a van owned by Gretna and operated by a Gretna employee, Sky Cooper, and they proceeded to the location of their next grass-cutting assignment.

Mr. Cooper pulled into a parking lot on Lafayette Street in Gretna, and he exited the van while Mr. Lastie and the other passenger remained in the back seat. After Mr. Cooper exited the van, it became apparent that Mr. Cooper had failed to [14-561 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] put the van in " park." The van rolled into oncoming traffic and was struck by a tractor trailer, causing Mr. Lastie to sustain personal injuries.

On May 14, 2012, Mr. Lastie filed this lawsuit against Mr. Cooper, Gretna, Ronnie Harris, as mayor of the City of Gretna at that time, and their insurers. Gretna and Mayor Harris filed an answer, generally denying the allegations in Mr. Lastie's petition and asserting that Mr. Lastie was a statutory or borrowed employee of Gretna which bars him from suing Gretna in tort due to the exclusive remedy provisions of the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act.[1]

On January 14, 2014, Gretna and Mayor Harris filed a motion for summary judgment, along with a statement of undisputed material facts, asserting that Mr. Lastie was a borrowed employee of Gretna and that he is barred from pursuing a tort action against them as his exclusive remedy is for worker's compensation benefits. In support of their motion, Gretna and Mayor Harris submitted several exhibits, including: the deposition of Mr. Lastie; an affidavit of Shelia Navarre, President of Temps Today; an affidavit of Daniel Lasyone, Gretna's Director of Public Works; an affidavit of L.C. Williams, the Gretna employee who supervised Mr. Lastie; and Mr. Lastie's answers to interrogatories.

On April 9, 2014, Mr. Lastie filed an opposition to defendants' statement of undisputed material facts and an opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment, arguing that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether or not Mr. Lastie was a borrowed employee and thus barred from bringing a tort action against defendants. In support of his argument, Mr. Lastie submitted several exhibits, including: a copy of the accident report; excerpts from Mr. Lasyone's [14-561 La.App. 5 Cir. 4] deposition; Ms. Navarre's deposition;

Page 152

and a " Claim Payments Report" of medical and indemnity benefits paid by Louisiana Worker's ...


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