United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
NICOLE REYES, ET AL.
JULIA PLACE CONDOMINIUM HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL.
ORDER & REASONS
J. BARBIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Julia Place Condominium Homeowners
Association, Inc.'s (“Julia Place”)
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Property
Damage (R. Doc. 669), an opposition
thereto filed by Plaintiff, Nicole Reyes (R. Doc. 712), and a
reply to Plaintiff's opposition filed by Julia Place (R.
Doc. 748). Having considered the motion and legal memoranda,
the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the
motion should be GRANTED.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
owned a condominium unit at Julia Place Condominiums. Along
with a myriad of other claims, Plaintiff has made a claim for
personal property damages. See (R. Doc. 40 at 2.)
Plaintiff's condominium was located on the fourth floor
of the condominium building. There was not another
condominium unit above Plaintiff's unit. Rather, the roof
of the condominium building was directly above
Plaintiff's unit. Plaintiff alleges that in September
2012, Hurricane Isaac damaged the roof of Julia Place
Condominiums above Plaintiff's condominium unit. As a
result, Plaintiff alleges that her condominium unit sustained
water damage, and that Julia Place refused to inspect her
unit or cover the costs of repairing her unit. Again in
February 2014, Plaintiff alleges that the roof had a leak and
a heavy rain caused additional damages to her unit, which
Plaintiff claims that Julia Place will not repair. As a
result of these incidents, Plaintiff seeks emotional distress
damages and the repair costs associated with repairing the
damage to her unit.
October 9, 2016, Julia Place filed the present Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment on the Claims for Property
Damage (R. Doc. 669). In short, Julia Place argues that
Plaintiff cannot prove that any damage to the roof of the
condominium unit caused water to enter her unit. Julia Place
further argues that Plaintiff has not produced any evidence
of damages. (R. Doc. 669-1 at 3.) In response, Plaintiff
argues that she is capable of testifying as to the cause of
the water damage and that Julia Place is legally required to
make repairs for damages to the roof because it is a
“common element” of the condominium. (R. Doc.
712.) Julia Place's motion is now before the Court on the
briefs and without oral argument.
Julia Place's Arguments
Place first argues that Plaintiff has failed to designate an
expert witness who will testify as to the alleged cause of
Plaintiff's property damage. (R. Doc. 669-1 at 5.) Julia
Place argues that specialized and technical knowledge is
required to discuss the origin of the alleged leak.
Id. Further, Julia Place argues that Plaintiff has
failed to produce any documents (i.e. repair invoices,
estimates, receipts) to support her property damage claim.
Id. Julia Place further argues that even if an
expert is not needed to prove Plaintiff's property damage
claim Nicole Reyes cannot testify to such damage. Julia Place
asserts that Plaintiff Nicole Reyes has admitted that she
does not know the cause of the damage to her unit.
Place also argues that it is not responsible for repairing
the interior of Plaintiff's condominium unit.
Id. at 6. Julia Place asserts that pursuant to the
Louisiana Condominium Act, Plaintiff is responsible for
maintenance, repair, and replacement of her individual unit.
Id. (citing La. Rev. Stat. 9:1123.107). Julia Place
argues that interior sheet rock damage is not a common
element, and therefore Julia Place is not responsible for its
repair. Id. at 7. Finally, Julia Place argues that
Plaintiff has not produced any no evidence that Julia Place
fails to maintain property insurance for the condominium
building. Id. at 8.
argues that she is able to testify that the damage to her
unit came from a leak in the roof of the condominium that was
caused by Hurricane Isaac. (R. Doc. 712.) Plaintiff asserts
that expert testimony is not necessary prove the cause of the
water damage. Id. at 2. Plaintiff argues that the
LCA and Julia Place's Condominium Declarations require
Julia Place to make such repairs. Specifically, Plaintiff
argues that because the damage to her unit was caused by the
roof, a common element of the condominium, Julia Place is
responsible for making repairs to Plaintiff's condominium
judgment is appropriate when “the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c));
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994). When assessing whether a dispute as to any
material fact exists, a court considers “all of the
evidence in the record but refrains from making credibility
determinations or weighing the evidence.” Delta
& Pine Land Co. v. NationwideAgribusiness Ins.
Co., 530 F.3d 395, 398 (5th Cir. 2008). All reasonable
inferences are drawn in favor of the nonmoving party, but a
party cannot defeat summary judgment with conclusory