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Gaspard v. Safeway Ins. Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

June 5, 2015

MICHAEL GASPARD, JR. and JENNIFER G. GASPARD, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THEIR MINOR CHILD, ADAM B. GASPARD
v.
SAFEWAY INSURANCE COMPANY, ANNA M. LEWIS, and GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

On Appeal from the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of St. Tammany, State of Louisiana. No. 2011-12698. Honorable Scott Gardner, Judge Presiding.

AFFIRMED.

John M. Robin, Covington, Louisiana, for Plaintiffs/Appellants Michael Gaspard, Jr. and Jennifer, G. Gaspard, individually and on behalf of their minor child, Adam B. Gaspard.

Richard Vale, Pamela Noya Molnar, Metairie, Louisiana, for Defendants/Appellees, Gordon K. Konrad, Alterra Excess and Surplus Ins. Co., Winn-Dixie La., Inc., and Winn-Dixie Montgomery Leasing, L.L.C.

BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 693

[2014 1676 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] McCLENDON, J.

Plaintiffs, Michael Gaspard, Jr., and Jennifer Gaspard, individually and on behalf of their minor child Adam Gaspard, appeal a summary judgment dismissing their action against Winn-Dixie Louisiana, Inc., Winn-Dixie Montgomery Leasing, L.L.C., Alterra Excess and Surplus Insurance Company, and Gordon Konrad. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 19, 2011, the plaintiffs, Michael Gaspard, Jr. and Jennifer Gaspard, and their minor child, Adam (an infant in a baby seat), were exiting a Winn-Dixie store located at 132 Main Street in Covington, Louisiana. As they were walking through the marked pedestrian zone directly in front of the store, they were struck by a vehicle being driven by Anna Lewis.

On May 11, 2011, plaintiffs filed suit against Anna Lewis; Safeway Insurance Company, the purported liability company insuring the vehicle Lewis was driving; and Geico General Insurance Company, plaintiffs' uninsured/underinsured motorist carrier.[1]

On October 20, 2011, plaintiffs filed an amended petition naming Winn-Dixie Louisiana, Inc., Winn-Dixie Montgomery Leasing, LLC, and Gordon Konrad, the owner of the parking lot, as additional defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that those defendants were negligent in the maintenance and design of the parking lot and that they knew or should have known of the danger to customers/pedestrians in the parking lot and failed to take measures to provide for the safety of the pedestrians.[2]

On May 9, 2014, Winn-Dixie Louisiana, Inc., Winn-Dixie Montgomery Leasing, LLC, and Gordon Konrad (hereinafter collectively referred to as " Winn-Dixie" ) filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiffs could not establish causation between a defect in Winn-Dixie's premises and the [2014 1676 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] accident. Following a hearing, the trial court granted Winn-Dixie's motion for summary judgment, and dismissed them from the litigation.

Plaintiffs have appealed, asserting that the trial court erred in granting Winn-Dixie's ...


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