APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 78, 8, DIVISION
"C" HONORABLE EMILE R. ST. PIERRE, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, AUDREY BLANK LOUQUE Craig J.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, MOTIVA ENTERPRISES, LLC
Timothy P. Hurley Robert K. Denny
composed of Susan M. Chehardy, Fredericka Homberg Wicker, and
Robert A. Chaisson.
M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE.
appeal, plaintiffs challenge the trial court's ruling
granting defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural History
March 13, 2013, during the course and scope of his employment
with River Parish Maintenance at Motiva Enterprises,
LLC's manufacturing complex, Michael J. Louque, Sr. was
killed when heavy equipment being loaded onto a flatbed truck
by forklift rolled off of the truck onto him. On March 3, 2014,
Audrey Louque individually, and on behalf of their minor
daughter, Tracey Louque, and Michael J. Louque, Jr.
(hereinafter collectively "the Louques") filed suit
seeking damages for the wrongful death of their husband and
father. In their lawsuit, the Louques named as defendants:
Daimler Trucks North America, LLC; United Rentals-North
America Inc.; Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.; Toyota Motor
Sales, USA; Scott Equipment Sales; H&E Equipment Sales,
Inc.; and Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
defendants, including Motiva Enterprises, LLC (hereinafter
"Motiva") filed exceptions and several defendants
answered, raising affirmative defenses. More specifically,
Motiva filed an exception of no right of action, pursuant to
La. C.C.P. art. 927. In its exception, Motiva asserted that
Mr. Louque was its "statutory employee, " and,
thus, Motiva was immune from liability under the Louisiana
Workers' Compensation Act. The trial court sustained
Motiva's exception and dismissed the case against Motiva.
The Louques appealed that judgment.
appeal, this Court reversed that judgment and remanded for
further proceedings. Louque v. Scott Equip. Co.,
LLC, 15-43 (La.App. 5 Cir. 4/29/15), 170 So.3d 335.
Specifically, we found:
In this case, unlike other contracts of this ilk that have
been reviewed by this Court, Motiva is not listed as an
affiliate, subsidiary, or buyer but rather as a location for
services. Our de novo review reveals that Motiva
failed to establish itself as Mr. Louque's statutory
employer and, thus, the trial judge erred in sustaining its
exception of no right of action. Accordingly, we reverse that
ruling and remand the matter for further proceedings
consistent with the views expressed herein. Costs of this
appeal are assessed against Motiva Enterprises, LLC.
Id. at 340.
29, 2015, Motiva answered the petition and asserted, among
others, the statutory employer defense. On November 24,
2015, Motiva filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis
that it was immune from tort liability under La. R.S. 23:1061
et seq. because Mr. Louque was Motiva's
statutory employee. In support of its motion, Motiva
attached, among other things, an affidavit from its General
Counsel Christopher Vice; a copy of RPM's incident
investigation report; an OSHA investigation report; witness
depositions; the Procurement Agreement No. NS-012808-CAP with
Alterations; and Purchase Orders from Motiva to RPM.
their opposition to Motiva's motion for summary judgment,
the Louques attached an affidavit from A.J. McPhate,
Mechanical Engineer; and excerpts of witness depositions.
April 11, 2016, the trial judge granted Motiva's motion
for summary judgment and dismissed the Louques' claims
with prejudice. The Louques appeal that ruling.
appeal, the Louques raise five assignments of error: first,
the trial court erred in considering incompetent summary
judgment evidence; second, the trial court erred in relying
on parole evidence to determine statutory employer status;
third, the trial court erred in relitigating the statutory
employment issue; fourth, the trial court erred in refusing
to recognize that intentional torts are an exception to the
exclusivity provision; and fifth, the ...