APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 218,252. HONORABLE THOMAS M. YEAGER, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Frank E. Barber, Attorney at Law, New Iberia, Louisiana, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant: Paris Madison.
Laurel I. White, Assistant Attorney General, Alexandria, Louisiana, Counsel for Defendants/Appellees: Richard Stalder, T. W. Thompson, Ronnie Futrell, William Black, State of Louisiana, Department of Public Safety & Corrections.
David W. Groner, Attorney at Law, New Iberia, Louisiana, Counsel for Intervenor: David Groner, PLC.
Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, John D. Saunders, Billy H. Ezell, James T. Genovese, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges. Thibodeaux, C.J., dissents and assigns written reasons. Saunders, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Chief Judge Thibodeaux.
[14-1067 La.App. 3 Cir. 1]
PHYLLIS M. KEATY, Judge.
The plaintiff, Paris Madison, appeals a judgment granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the State of Louisiana, through the Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DOC) dismissing
his claims against it with prejudice. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The facts in this matter are not in dispute and were outlined by this court in Madison v. State, Department of Public Safety & Corrections, 13-389, p. 1 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/6/13), 124 So.3d 1219, 1220, writ denied, 13-2862 (La. 2/21/14), 134 So.3d 582, an earlier appeal arising out of this matter:
Mr. Madison was an inmate housed at the Work Training Facility North (referred to as Dabadie), a prison operated by the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC). Dabadie is adjacent to Camp Beauregard, a National Guard Base operated by the Military Department which utilizes inmate labor from Dabadie. On March 8, 2000, Mr. Madison was performing laundry duty at Camp Beauregard, which entailed transporting baskets of laundry on the bed of a truck. The truck, being driven by Mr. [James] Welch[, now deceased], hit a hole in the road causing Mr. Madison to fall from the vehicle and allegedly sustain injury.
Madison filed a petition for judicial review (PJR) in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court (19th JDC) in East Baton Rouge Parish in July of 2000. Named as defendants in the PJR were various individuals associated with the DOC and the National Guard. By way of a supplemental and amending petition, Madison later converted his PJR to a tort claim against DOC, the National Guard, and Welch, whom he incorrectly identified as a DOC employee. In 2004, the matter was transferred from the 19th JDC to the Ninth Judicial District Court (9th JDC) in Rapides Parish, the parish of proper venue.
[14-1067 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] In February 2005, DOC filed a motion for summary judgment seeking to have Madison's claims against it dismissed on the basis that it did not owe a duty to him at the time he was injured on March 8, 2000. Attached to the motion was the affidavit of T.W. Thompson, Warden of the Dabadie prison facility, who stated that Madison was on work release at Camp Beauregard pursuant to La.R.S. 15:832 when he fell out of a Camp Beauregard-owned truck being driven by its employee, Welch. Madison filed a memorandum in opposition to the summary judgment wherein he contended that he was under the constant supervision of DOC guards when he was injured and that DOC had failed to offer any evidence that the Military Department had, by statute or by contractual arrangement, agreed to assume the custody of prison inmates performing work detail at Camp Beauregard.
Madison filed a second supplemental and amending petition in April 2005, in which he named the Military Department as an additional defendant and asserted that it was liable for the negligent actions of its employee, Welch, under the doctrine of respondeat superior. More than seven years later, the Military Department, the National Guard, and Welch filed a motion to dismiss and/or motion for summary judgment claiming that Madison's claim against them had prescribed. Madison opposed the motion. By judgment dated October 9, 2012, the trial court decreed
that the " motion for summary judgment on prescription is granted," and it dismissed Madison's claims against the Military Department, the National Guard, and Welch. After his motion for a new trial was denied, Madison [14-1067 La.App. 3 Cir. 3] appealed. In Madison, 124 So.3d 1219, a panel of this court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of Madison's claims against the State of Louisiana, Military Department, the National Guard, and James Welch based on prescription. The supreme court denied writs, and that decision is now final. See Madison v. State, Dep't of Pub. Safety & Corr., 13-2862 (La. 2/21/14), 134 So.3d 582.
Thereafter, DOC filed a motion to reset its previously filed motion for summary judgment, which had been continued without date several times at the request of all counsel. Following a July 7, 2014 hearing, the trial court orally granted summary judgment in favor of DOC and dismissed Madison's claims against it with prejudice. Written judgment was signed on July 14, 2014. Madison timely appealed and is now before this court asserting that the trial court erred: 1) in granting the motion for summary judgment before considering his pending motion to compel production of documents which he contends are directly relevant to the issues raised in the summary judgment; 2) in improperly taking judicial notice of alleged agreements between ...