from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 518, 197 Honorable
Ramon Lafitte, Judge
LOUISIANA DEPT. OF JUSTICE Counsel for Intervenor- LITIGATION
DIVISION Appellant, State of By: E. David Gilmer Louisiana,
Office of Risk Management
LAWRENCE, JR. Counsel for Appellee, Deborah Allen
RICHIE, RICHIE, & OBERLE, LLP Counsel for Defendants- By:
Byron A. Richie Appellees, Matthew Paul D. Oberle, Jr.
Humphrey and Imperial Fire & Casualty Ins. Co.
State of Louisiana's Office of Risk Management appealed
from a judgment dismissing its petition of intervention on
the grounds of abandonment. For the following reasons, we
affirm the trial court's judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
February 2, 2007, plaintiff, Deborah Allen, an employee of
the Louisiana Department of Social Services
("LADSS"), was riding as a passenger in a LADSS
vehicle. On that date, the LADSS vehicle was struck from
behind by a vehicle driven by Matthew Humphrey. On January
17, 2008, Ms. Allen filed a petition seeking damages for
injuries sustained in the accident from defendants, Mr.
Humphrey, and his automobile insurer, Imperial Fire and
Casualty Insurance Company.
February 11, 2008, defendants filed an answer and jury
demand. On April 14, 2008, the State of Louisiana, Division
of Administration, Office of Risk Management filed a petition
of intervention claiming a subrogation interest against
defendants for past and future workers' compensation
payments paid to, or on behalf of, Ms. Allen. Defendants and
Ms. Allen each answered the petition of intervention.
9, 2008, Ms. Allen filed an amended petition for damages and
named LADSS as a defendant pursuant to an underinsured
motorist claim. The original defendants, Mr. Humphrey and
Imperial, answered the amended petition. On November 12,
2008, intervenor filed a motion for summary judgment seeking
to have Ms. Allen's claims against the LADSS dismissed.
They claimed that they had no uninsured motorist coverage and
Allen's exclusive remedy against her employer was a claim
for workers' compensation. The trial court granted
summary judgment and dismissed Ms. Allen's claims against
LADSS on January 5, 2009.
January 12, 2012, intervenor filed a motion for a pretrial
conference. At the pretrial conference, the matter was set
for trial on January 28, 2013. On January 15, 2013, Ms. Allen
filed a motion for a continuance to resolve her pending
workers' compensation claims. The trial court ordered the
continuance. Ms. Allen's worker's compensation claims
were resolved with a consent judgment signed by the
worker's compensation judge on August 5, 2013.
February 8, 2013, defendants filed a motion and order to
withdraw a jury bond, which the court denied. On September
18, 2014, counsel for defendants sent a letter addressed to
counsel for Ms. Allen and counsel for intervenor. The letter
I thought I would write once again to try to bring this
matter across your desks. We would like to try to settle this
case for the policy limit but [I] never received any
instructions with respect to the resolution of the
workers' compensation claim. Please let me know if any
progress has been made in that regard. Further, please let me
know if there is anything we can do to push this matter
March 14, 2016, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
claim on the grounds of abandonment. On May 16, 2016, a
hearing was held on the motion to dismiss. The trial court
filed its judgment granting defendants' motion ...