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.

Rivers v. Daigle

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

February 2, 2017

MONTY RIVERS
v.
MICHAEL J. DAIGLE, ET AL.

         APPEAL FROM THE SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST. MARTIN, NO. 80997 HONORABLE VINCENT J. BORNE, DISTRICT JUDGE

         REVERSED, RENDERED, AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.

          Michael P. Corry, Sr. J. Daniel Siefker, Jr. Briney Foret Corry COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Allstate Insurance Company

          Todd A. Townsley The Townsley Law Firm COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS: Monty Rivers Brenda Rivers

          John W. Perry, Jr. Daniel J. Balhoff John W. Perry, III Perry, Balhoff, Mengis & Burns, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS: Monty Rivers Brenda Rivers

          Charles C. Garrison Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES: Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company Michael J. Daigle

          Ian A. Macdonald Jones Walker COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Progressive Security Insurance Company

          C. Shannon Hardy John W. Penny, Jr. Penny & Hardy COUNSEL FOR INTERVENOR-APPELLANT: Angel Landry Allemand on behalf of her minor child, Megan Daigle

          Court composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, Billy Howard Ezell, and John E. Conery, Judges.

          ELIZABETH A. PICKETT JUDGE

         At issue in this appeal is the trial court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the insurer of two defendants on the basis that the insurer's policy did not provide coverage for the minor tortfeasor and its denial of the plaintiffs' cross motion on the same issue. The plaintiffs appeal, arguing the insurer waived its coverage defense; therefore, its policy provides coverage for their claims. For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

         FACTS

         On September 22, 2013, Megan Daigle failed to obey a stop sign and collided with a vehicle driven by Monty Rivers. When the accident occurred, Megan was a minor. She was driving a vehicle owned by and provided for her sole use by her father, Michael Daigle. Mr. Daigle and Angel Allemand, Megan's mother, were divorced, and Mrs. Allemand had legal custody of Megan. Megan lived with Mrs. Allemand and her husband, Harris Allemand.

         Mr. Rivers was injured in the accident, and he and his wife filed suit against Mr. Daigle; [1] his insurer, Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company; and Progressive Insurance Company, their uninsured/underinsured insurer. On March 25, 2014, the Rivers added Mrs. Allemand as a defendant. Thereafter, on May 9, 2014, they added Megan and Allstate Insurance Company, Mr. and Mrs. Allemand's insurer, as defendants.

         Counsel hired by Allstate filed an answer on behalf of Allstate, Mrs. Allemand, and Megan on May 22, 2014. Thereafter, in June 2014, Allstate notified the Allemands and Megan that its policy excluded coverage because Megan was driving a vehicle provided to her by her father. Allstate issued a reservation of rights and hired an attorney to provide a defense to Mrs. Allemand and Megan.

         In 2015, Allstate filed a motion for summary judgment asserting its policy does not provide coverage for the accident because when the accident occurred, Megan was driving a vehicle owned by her father that he provided for her regular use. The motion asserts that although Megan satisfies its policy's definition of an insured, she was not operating an insured vehicle when the accident occurred; therefore, the policy does not provide coverage for the accident. Allstate also filed a motion for partial summary judgment, arguing that it did not waive the coverage defense because it urged the defense timely and its actions did not prejudice the Allemands. The Rivers then filed a motion for partial summary judgment in which they argue that Allstate waived its coverage defense because Allstate filed an answer without notifying Mrs. Allemand and Megan of its coverage defense and without hiring separate counsel to represent them in this litigation.

         After a hearing, the trial court awarded summary judgment and partial summary judgment in favor of Allstate and denied partial summary judgment as requested by the Rivers. The Rivers appealed.

         DISCUSSION

         Appellate courts review summary judgments de novo, using the same criteria as the trial court. Gray v. Am. Nat'l Prop. & Cas. Co., 07-1670 (La. 2/26/08), 977 So.2d 839. In order to prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must "show that there is no genuine issue as to material fact and that [he] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." La.Code Civ.P. art. 966(B)(2). Generally, interpretation of an insurance contract concerns a legal question that can be resolved in the framework of a motion for summary judgment. Cutsinger v. Redfern, 08-2607 (La. 5/22/09), 12 So.3d 945. Insurance policies are interpreted according to the general rules of contract interpretation, and ...


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.