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Vise v. Olivier House Property Management, LLC

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 12, 2017

CHARLES VISE, JR. AND DELILAH VISE
v.
OLIVIER HOUSE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC, JONNY LARIOS, XYZ INSURANCE COMPANY, AND HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY INSURANCE COMPANY CHARLES VISE, JR. AND DELILAH VISE
v.
OLIVIER HOUSE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC, JONNY LARIOS, XYZ INSURANCE COMPANY, AND HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY

         APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2013-02333, DIVISION "E" HONORABLE CLARE JUPITER, JUDGE

          APRIL L. WATSON JACK M. ALLTMONT JOY G. BRAUN SESSIONS FISHMAN NATHAN & ISRAEL, L.L.P. Counsel for Defendant/Appellant, Olivier House Property Management, LLC

          ROSS A. LEDET KRISTE T. UTLEY TERRILL W. BOYKIN BOYKIN & UTLEY, APLC Counsel for Defendant/Appellant, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Insurance Co.

          SIDNEY D. TORRES III ROBERTA L. BURNS BEAU F. CAMEL LAW OFFICES OF SIDNEY D. TORRES, III, APLC Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants

          KATIE W. MYERS GEORGE B. HALL, JR PHELPS DUNBAR LLP Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co.

          Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins

          JAMES F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE

          In this insurance dispute, defendants, Olivier House Property Management, LLC ("Olivier House Hotel") and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Insurance Company ("Hartford"), seek review of the May 10, 2016 judgment of the trial court, granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of third party defendant, American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company ("American Empire"), and denying Olivier House Hotel's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiffs, Charles Vise, Jr. and Delilah Vise, filed a petition for damages alleging that Jonny Larios ("Mr. Larios"), in the course of his employment with Olivier House Hotel, and while driving a vehicle owned by a guest of Olivier House Hotel ("Rutledge vehicle"), negligently collided with their vehicle. At the time of the accident, Mr. Larios was retrieving the Rutledge vehicle from its parked location and returning it to the hotel. The record reflects that a representative of Olivier House Hotel had parked the Rutledge vehicle approximately ten (10) blocks away because the adjacent parking lot maintained by the hotel was full.

         Olivier House Hotel, located at 828 Toulouse Street in the French Quarter, maintains an adjacent parking lot at 531-533 Dauphine Street to park guests' vehicles. At the time of the accident, Olivier House Hotel was insured under a general liability policy issued by American Empire. The policy covers both the Toulouse Street property and the Dauphine Street parking lot.

         The petition for damages names Mr. Larios, Olivier House Hotel, and Hartford (plaintiffs' uninsured motorist carrier) as defendants.[1] Olivier House Hotel filed a third party demand against American Empire seeking a defense and indemnity. In response, American Empire filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that it had no liability under the policy because of an "auto" exclusion, which excluded coverage for damages arising out of the use of an automobile.

         Olivier House Hotel filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, arguing that the "auto" exclusion does not apply here because of a "parking exception" contained in the policy, for "parking an 'auto' on, or on the ways next to, premises you own or rent …"', restores coverage. Hartford opposed American Empire's motion for summary judgment based on the same argument advanced by Olivier House Hotel.[2]

         After hearing the matter, the trial court rendered judgment on May 10, 2016, granting summary judgment in favor of American Empire, dismissing all claims against American Empire with prejudice, and denying Olivier House Hotel's cross- motion for summary judgment. Olivier House Hotel and ...


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