Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moore v. Wayne Smith Trucking, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

February 4, 2015

OMEGA JEANETTA MOORE, Individually and On Behalf of and as Natural Tutrix of ZETA ROSS
v.
WAYNE SMITH TRUCKING, INC., JEFFREY C. SPEILMAN, and NORTHLAND INSURANCE COMPANY, Section R(4)

ORDER AND REASONS

SARAH S. VANCE, District Judge.

Defendants Wayne Smith Trucking, Inc. and Jeffrey C. Speilman move for partial dismissal for failure to state a claim and for judgment on the pleadings on all claims asserted by plaintiff, individually, and on the claim for punitive damages asserted by plaintiff, individually and on behalf of and as natural tutrix of her minor child, Zeta Ross.[1] Defendant Northland Insurance Company also moves for partial dismissal for failure to state a claim and for judgment on the pleadings on the claim for punitive damages asserted by plaintiff, individually and on behalf of and as natural tutrix of her minor child, Zeta Ross.[2] Plaintiff does not oppose the motions.[3] For the following reasons, the Court grants the motions.

I. Background

Plaintiff Omega Moore, individually and on behalf of and as natural tutrix of her minor child, Zeta Ross, filed this action against defendants Wayne Smith Trucking Inc., Jeffrey C. Speilman, and Northland Insurance Company in the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, on June 30, 2014.[4] Defendants timely removed this matter on August 21, 2014.[5]

This action arises out of an accident occurring on February 27, 2014 in Gretna, Louisiana, when a tractor-trailer truck, owned by Wayne Smith Trucking, Inc. and driven by Jeffrey C. Speilman, struck and killed Deron Ross.[6] In her complaint, plaintiff alleges that Speilman was driving the truck in the course and scope of his employment with Wayne Smith Trucking, and that Northfield Insurance issued an insurance policy, policy number TF658558, which provided insurance coverage for the truck.[7] Plaintiff further alleges that Speilman's negligent and reckless acts and Wayne Smith Trucking's intentional, willful, wonton, reckless, and/or negligent acts caused the death of Mr. Ross.[8] Plaintiff asserts that Northland Insurance is also liable for the negligence/recklessness of Speilman and Wayne Smith Trucking.[9]

Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of and as natural tutrix to Zeta Ross, seeks damages for: (1) past, present, and future pain and suffering; (2) past, present, and future loss of consortium and society; (3) past, present, and future mental anguish; (4) past, present, and future lost income and support; (5) punitive and exemplary damages; and (6) any other damages which may be proven at trial.[10]

Defendant Northland Insurance answered plaintiff's complaint on August 25, 2014, [11] and defendants Speilman and Wayne Smith Trucking answered plaintiff's complaint on September 5, 2014.[12]

On September 22, 2014, defendants Speilman and Wayne Smith Trucking moved for partial dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) and for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) on all claims asserted by plaintiff in her individual capacity and on all claims for punitive damages.[13] They contend that plaintiff, individually, does not have any cognizable claims because she was not married to Mr. Ross at the time of his death.[14] Additionally, they contend that plaintiff cannot assert a claim for punitive damages, either in her individual capacity or on behalf of or as the natural tutrix of Zeta Ross, because punitive damages are not cognizable under the applicable Louisiana law.[15]

On September 23, 2014, defendant Northland Insurance also moved for partial dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) and for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) on plaintiff's claim for punitive damages on the basis that the insurance policy at issue does not provide coverage for punitive damages.[16]

On October 16, 2014, plaintiff filed two letters with the Court stipulating that she does not oppose the defendants' motions to the extent that they pertain to all claims asserted on behalf of herself, individually, and to all claims for punitive damages.[17] Plaintiff, however, has not withdrawn the claims defendants seek to dismiss.

On October 22, 2014, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, which alleged that Zeta Ross is a child of the decedent, Mr. Ross, and that Mr. Ross endured pain and suffering as a result of the accident.[18] Plaintiff, as natural tutrix of Zeta Ross, claims wrongful death damages in the amount of $2, 500, 000 for: (1) mental and emotional pain and suffering; (2) loss of society and service; (3) loss of support; (4) loss of consortium and affection; and (5) all other damages to be shown at trial.[19] Plaintiff, as natural tutrix of Zeta Ross, further claims survival damages in the amount of $3, 500, 000 for: (1) physical pain and suffering; (2) mental and emotional pain and suffering; (3) medical expenses; (4) preimpact fear; (5) lost wages, earnings, diminished work capacity, and other economic support; and (5) loss of consortium, society, and affection.[20]

Because plaintiff did not withdraw the claims defendants seek to dismiss, defendants filed motions to apply their original motions to dismiss and for judgment on the pleadings to plaintiff's amended complaint.[21]

II. Legal Standard

A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) and a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) are subject to the same standard. Doe v. MySpace, Inc., 528 F.3d 413, 418 (5th Cir. 2008) (citing Johnson v. Johnson, 385 F.3d 503, 529 (5th Cir. 2004)). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead enough facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. A court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Lormand v. U.S. Unwired, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.