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.

Luv N' Care Ltd v. Rimar

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division

January 12, 2017

LUV N' CARE, LTD.
v.
GROUPO RIMAR, AKA SUAVINEX

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          ROBERT G. JAMES \/ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is a Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Appeal (“Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Appeal”) filed by Defendant Groupo Rimar a/k/a Suavinex (“Suavinex”). [Doc. No. 36]. Suavinex moves the Court for an award of attorneys' fees against Plaintiff Luv N Care, Ltd. (“LNC”) for the time spent litigating the appeal.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises from the Parties' dispute over provisions of a 2012 Termination Agreement and Mutual Release (“2012 Termination Agreement”) in this Court. On August 14, 2014, LNC filed suit against Suavinex for the alleged violations of certain provisions of the 2012 Termination Agreement. (“Suavinex I”). Weeks after the amendment deadline had passed, on May 15, 2015, LNC attempted to amend the Complaint to add the instant claim. [Case. No. 14-2491, (“Suavinex I”) Doc. No. 35]. On June 17, 2015, Magistrate Judge Karen L. Hayes denied the motion on grounds of untimeliness and futility. (Suavinex I, [Doc. No. 54]). LNC did not appeal Magistrate Judge Hayes' Order to this Court.

         On September 9, 2015, LNC filed the instant Complaint. (“Suavinex II”). On January 11, 2016, Suavinex filed a “Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative Rule 12(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings” in Suavinex II. [Doc. No. 4]. On February 26, 2016, Magistrate Judge Hayes issued a Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 15] in which she recommended dismissing LNC's claims in Suavinex II on three separate grounds: (1) res judicata; (2) insufficient service of process; and (3) no breach of contract as a matter of law. On May 13, 2016, the Court issued a Judgment adopting the findings and conclusions set forth in Magistrate Judge Hayes' Report and Recommendation to the extent she recommended that the Court dismiss LNC's claims on res judicata grounds. [Doc. No. 24].

         On May 16, 2016, LNC filed a notice of appeal of the Judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. [Doc. No. 26]. On September 13, 2016, the Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal pursuant to a motion filed by LNC. [Doc. No. 35].

         On September 23, 2016, Suavinex filed the instant Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Appeal under paragraph 5.9 of the 2012 Termination Agreement. [Doc. No. 36]. On September 29, 2016, LNC filed a memorandum in opposition. [Doc. No. 38]. On October 5, 2016, Suavinex filed a reply memorandum [Doc. No. 39] and LNC filed a sur-reply on October 11, 2016. [Doc. No. 44].

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         It is well settled in Louisiana law that a prevailing litigant may not recover his attorneys' fees unless provided for by statute or contract. General Motors Acceptance Corp. v. Meyers, 85 So.2d 245');">385 So.2d 245, 247 (La. 1980) (citing Hernandez v. Harson, 89');">237 La. 389, 111 So.2d 320 (1959)). Suavinex seeks “reasonable attorney's fees” in the amount of $14, 080.00 as the “prevailing party” under the 2012 Termination Agreement. [Doc. No. 36-1]. The 2012 Termination Agreement provides:

The prevailing party in a claim in a court of competent jurisdiction arising under this agreement against another Party shall be entitled to collect reasonable attorney's fees incurred in connection with the claim or suit in the underlying matter. For purposes of this Section, a Party shall be considered the prevailing party if the court of competent jurisdiction has reached a decision which is substantially closer to one Party's original claims or defenses, taken as a whole, than the opposing Party; provided that if the decision is not clearly substantially closer to one party's original claims or defenses, taken as a whole, than the opposing Party, none of the Parties shall be entitled to collect attorney's fees.

(Suavinex I, [Doc. No. 64-8, p. 6]).

         The Fifth Circuit dismissed the appeal with prejudice pursuant to LNC's motion. [Doc. No. 35]. The Court concludes that Suavinex is the prevailing party because the Court's Judgment in the underlying matter is substantially closer to Suavinex's claims and defenses. Therefore, Suavinex is entitled to collect reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in connection with LNC's appeal.

         The express language of the 2012 Termination Agreement dictates that Louisiana law governs the Court's award of attorneys' fees in this case. Under Louisiana law, a “reasonable attorney's fee is determined by the facts of an individual case. In making awards for attorney's fees, the trial court is vested with great discretion . . . .” Richardson v. Parish of Jefferson, 98-625 (La.App. 5 Cir. 1999); 727 So.2d 705, 707 (citations omitted). “The fundamental measure of attorney's fees is reasonableness, considering the ...


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.