United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
T.TRIMBLE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is a "Motion for Summary Judgment" (R.
#24) wherein Defendants, Drew Fontenot, Tisha Wittington,
Michael Oakley, Robert Pete, Karl Bruchhaus, and the
Calcasieu Parish School Board, move to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims of intentional infliction of emotional
distress, negligent hiring, supervision and training against
all Defendants in this matter pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56.
Michon Caesar, attended Iowa High School and participated on
the women's basketball team during the 2014-2015 and
2015-2016 school year. Ms. Caesar alleges that during this
time she was subjected to a pattern of conduct by Tisha
Wittington,  that led to emotional distress. Ms.
Wittington did not physically touch Ms. Caesar. Ms.
Caesar's complaint alleges that Ms. Wittington spoke to
her in a different tone of voice which made her
judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, when viewed in the light most
favorable to the non- moving party, indicate that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
A fact is "material" if its existence or
nonexistence "might affect the outcome of the suit under
governing law." A dispute about a material fact is
"genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party. As to issues which the non-moving party
has the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy this burden by demonstrating the absence of evidence
supporting the non-moving party's
claim." Once the movant makes this showing, the
burden shifts to the non-moving party to set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial. The burden requires more than mere
allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleadings.
The non-moving party must demonstrate by way of affidavit or
other admissible evidence that there are genuine issues of
material fact or law. There is no genuine issue of material fact
if, viewing the evidence in the light more favorable to the
non-moving party, no reasonable trier of fact could find for
the non-moving party. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is
not significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted. The court will construe all evidence in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, but will not
infer the existence of evidence not presented.
maintain that the conduct complained of by Ms. Caesar does
not rise to the level of a cognizable tort recognized by
Louisiana law. Defendants seek to dismiss the following
claims: (1) failure to supervise Ms. Wittington against
Michael Oakley, (2) failure to supervise Michael Oakley
against Robert Pete, (3) failure to supervise Ms. Wittington,
Mr. Pete and Mr. Oakley against Superintendent, Karl
Bruchhaus, (4) negligent hiring and/or promotion of Drew
Fontenot,  Ms. Wittington, Mr. Oakley, Mr. Pete,
and Mr. Bruchhaus, and (5) intentional infliction of
emotional distress against Ms. Wittington.
infliction of emotional distress
prove intentional infliction of emotional distress, Ms.
Caesar must prove that (1) the conduct of the defendant was
extreme and outrageous, (2) the emotional distress suffered
by the plaintiff was severe, and (3) the defendant desires to
inflict severe emotional distress or knew that sever
emotional distress would be certain or substantially certain
to result from the conduct. The complained of conduct
"must be so outrageous in character and so extreme in
degree, as to go beyond all decency, and to be regarded as
atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized
community." "Liability does not extend to mere
insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, petty oppressions,
or other trivialities. Persons must necessarily be expected
to be hardened to a certain amount of rough language, and to
occasional acts that are definitely inconsiderate and
deposition, Plaintiff was asked to explain Ms.
Wittington's conduct; she testified that Ms.
Wittington's tone was different towards her as opposed to
other players,  Ms. Caesar felt like she could do
nothing right, everything she did was wrong,  Ms.
Wittington made comments to the team that "some of
y'all think you're better than others",
Ms. Wittington made "offhand remarks",
Ms. Wittington constantly yelled at Ms. Caesar and told her
she was not doing things right, to get off the floor and
would give her an ugly look,  Ms. Caesar felt that when
shooting the ball, every shot she took was not a good
shot. When asked of a specific example of
extreme and outrageous conduct, Ms. Caesar testified,
"[N]othing, just her attitude and the side remarks and
the tone of voice." Ms. Caesar testified that Ms.
Wittington did not berate her, did not make fun of her
publicly or privately and never called her demeaning names or
told her she was worthless.
her senior year, Ms. Caesar complained that Ms. Wittington
made her feel like she was not part of the
team. Ms. Caesar testified that there was no
name calling and no outrageous personal attack,
but that she felt like Ms. Wittington did not care if she was
remark that Ms. Caesar's medical treatment consisted of
three (3) or four (4) appointments and she has never taken
any prescription medication related to her alleged emotional
distress. Her only complaints consisted of not
wanting to play basketball and sometimes hating
basketball. Notably absent from the record is any
evidence that Ms. Caesar suffered severe emotional distress
which is fatal to her claim.
court finds that the conduct by Ms. Wittington for which Ms.
Caesar complains was not so extreme and outrageous as to
warrant an action for intentional infliction of emotional
distress. Accordingly, this claim against Defendant, Ms.
Wittington, will be dismissed.
hiring and/or promotion of ...