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Duplantis v. Miller

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

March 4, 2015

JAMES DUPLANTIS AND KATHLEEN DUPLANTIS
v.
VICTOR MILLER AND KENT ARMENTOR CONSTRUCTION, L.L.C

APPEAL fro THE THIRTY-FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, NO. C-249-13. HONORABLE C. STEVE GUNNELL, DISTRICT JUDGE.

John J. Simpson, Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio, Clements & Shaddock L.L.P., Lake Charles, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS: James Duplantis, Kathleen Duplantis.

Emile Joseph, Jr., Allen & Gooch, Lafayette, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Mueller Supply Co., Inc.

Paul D. Palermo, Blue Williams, LLP, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Victor Miller.

James F. DeRosier, Lake Charles, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE:, Kent Armentor Construction, L.L.C.

Court composed of Jimmie C. Peters, Billy Howard Ezell, and James T. Genovese, Judges.

OPINION

Page 1154

[14-1070 La.App. 3 Cir. 1] PETERS, J.

The plaintiffs, James and Kathleen Duplantis, appeal the trial court's grant of a summary judgment in favor of Mueller Supply Company, Inc., one of the defendants in this litigation, dismissing all of their claims against that defendant. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's grant of the summary judgment.

DISCUSSION OF THE RECORD

This litigation arises from activities associated with a July 2011 contract entered into between the plaintiffs and Victor Miller, wherein Mr. Miller agreed to construct a residence on immovable property owned by the plaintiffs in Jennings, Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana. The plaintiffs chose a metal roof manufactured by Mueller Supply Company, Inc. (Mueller Supply) for their residence, and Mr. Miller entered into a subcontract with Kent Armentor Construction, L.L.C. (Armentor Construction) for the installation of the roof. When construction defects prevented the plaintiffs from moving into their new home, they initially brought a suit for damages against Mr. Miller and Armentor Construction, but later added Mueller Supply as a defendant.

In their initial petition for damages filed on April 12, 2013, the plaintiffs identified

Page 1155

sixteen defects in the construction of the home, most of which were related directly or indirectly to the defective installation of the roof by Armentor Construction. With regard to Armentor Construction's liability, the plaintiffs asserted that the company failed to install the roof in a good and workmanlike manner in that it used materials which did not meet the plans and specifications of the project, nor did the materials meet the specifications for the roof set forth by Mueller Supply.

[14-1070 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] On August 13, 2013, the plaintiffs filed an amending petition, wherein it asserted additional damage to the structure and added Mueller Supply as a party defendant. As to their claim against Mueller Supply, the plaintiffs asserted that before choosing a roof for their home, they searched the internet for the right manufacturer. In doing so, they chose Mueller Supply based on the following statement on Mueller Supply's website:

You can depend on Mueller and Mueller Assurance to provide assistance with the installation of your metal roof. By choosing Mueller as your single source supplier, you get skilled professionals to measure your roof and we will ...

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