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Jones v. Am. Reliable Ins. Co.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

March 11, 2015

STEVEN JONES
v.
AMERICAN RELIABLE INSURANCE COMPANY AND GEORGE BREVALDO

APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 2010-11445, DIVISION " G-11" . Honorable Robin M. Giarrusso, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Steven Jones, Violet, LA, PLAINTIFF APPELLANT/IN PROPER PERSON.

Campbell E. Wallace, Everett R. Fineran, Joseph Nicholas Mole, FRILOT L.L.C., New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

(Court composed of Judge Max N. Tobias, Jr., Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu).

OPINION

Page 116

Edwin A. Lombard, Judge.

[2014-1018 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] The Appellant, Steven Jones, seeks review of the May 14, 2014 judgment of the district court dismissing his case with prejudice. Finding that the judgment of the district court is not manifestly erroneous or clearly wrong, we affirm.

On December 31, 2009, Mr. Jones was involved in a car accident with George Brevaldo (" Mr. Brevaldo" ) in New Orleans. Heading eastbound on Chef Menteur Highway, he was driving his 1999 Mercury Mountaineer sports utility vehicle (" SUV" ) in the far right lane. Mr. Jones' SUV was sideswiped on the driver's side by Mr. Brevaldo, who began to merge his recreational vehicle (" RV" ) into the far right lane. The New Orleans Police Department was called to the scene and Mr. Brevaldo was the only driver who received a citation.

Mr. Jones initially presented himself for treatment two days after the accident at the emergency room of Ochsner Baptist Hospital. He further testified that he was treated by Dr. S. Elliot Greenberg and Dr. Jason Kennedy for his injuries to his neck, shoulder and upper back. Mr. Jones received treatment for his injuries until August 2010.

Additionally, the record reflects that Mr. Jones was involved in two (2) car accidents following the December 2009 accident. In February 2010, he was [2014-1018 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] involved in an accident for which he received medical treatment with the aforementioned doctors. He settled his claims arising out of that accident. Moreover, an Independent Medical Examination report-- prepared by Dr. Ralph Katz-- states that Mr. Jones was involved in a third car accident on March 29, 2011, for which he received medical treatment from Dr. Dwight McKenna.

Regarding the December 2009 accident, Mr. Jones settled his property damage claim -- for a damaged side-view mirror-- with Mr. Brevaldo's insurer, American Reliable Insurance Company (" American" ), for approximately $700. Thereafter, he sued Mr. Brevaldo and American (collectively referred to as " the Appellees" ) for his personal injuries and damages resulting from the December 2009 accident. A bench trial was held on April 3, 2014, and Mr. Jones was the only witness who testified at trial. The district court rendered judgment in favor of the Appellees and dismissed Mr. Jones' claim with prejudice at his cost. This timely appeal followed wherein Mr. Jones raises four (4) assignments of error:

Page 117

1. The district court failed to consider that the doctor who treated him shortly after the accident diagnosed him with a strained neck and lower ...

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