BELLSOUTH TELECOMMUNICATIONS, LLC. D/B/A AT&T LOUISIANA
A&A CABLE CONTRACTORS, INC. AND CSRS, INC.
Appeal from the Nineteenth Judicial District Court In and for
the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana No. 629,
055 Honorable William A. Morvant, Judge Presiding
Michael B. Alker Mandeville, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant BellSouth Telecommunications, L.L.C.
d/b/a AT&T Louisiana
J. Danna Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/
Appellee A&A Cable Contractors, Inc.
B. Loeb Jacob E. Roussel Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant/ Appellee CSRS, Inc.
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., GUIDRY, AND McCLENDON, JJ.
plaintiff appeals from a judgment that granted a
defendant's peremptory exception raising the objection of
prescription. For the following reasons, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 14, 2014, BellSouth Telecommunications, L.L.C. d/b/a
AT&T Louisiana (BellSouth) filed a Petition for Damages
against A&A Cable Contractors, Inc. (A&A), alleging
that on March 18, 2013, BellSouth discovered damages to its
underground telephone cables caused by the failure of A&A
to install the cables at the depth as specified in the
contract between BellSouth and A&A. BellSouth further
alleged that it incurred costs in repairing the damage.
Thereafter, on October 20, 2015, BellSouth filed a Second
Supplemental and Amending Petition for Damages adding CSRS,
Inc. (CSRS) and William Watson, a CSRS employee, as
additional defendants. Therein, BellSouth alleged that during the
installation project, A&A encountered a sub-surface
concrete slab and, upon the advice of Watson, installed the
cables on top of the slab, which was above the depth
specified by BellSouth. BellSouth claimed that the defendants
were jointly and/or solidarity liable for the damages
response, CSRS filed a peremptory exception raising the
objection of prescription on November 30, 2015. CSRS alleged
that the claims brought against it were purely delictual
claims and were filed more than one year after prescription
commenced. Specifically, CSRS maintained that BellSouth
unambiguously admitted in its petition that the damage
occurred on March 18, 2013, and that BellSouth did not file
suit against CSRS until over thirty-one months later in
October 2015. CSRS additionally argued that because the
action against CSRS was prescribed on the face of the
petition, BellSouth had the burden to prove that the action
was not prescribed. CSRS asserted that prescription was not
interrupted on the date BellSouth initiated the litigation
against A&A since CSRS and A&A are neither solidarity
liable nor are they joint tortfeasors.
a hearing on March 28, 2016, the trial court agreed with CSRS
and sustained the exception. The trial court signed a
judgment on April 5, 2016, dismissing BellSouth's claims
against CSRS with prejudice. Thereafter, BellSouth timely
appealed. The issue on appeal is whether BellSouth's
timely filing of suit against A&A interrupted the running
of prescription on its claims against CSRS.
Civil Code Article 3492 provides that delictual actions are
subject to a liberative prescription of one year, which
commences to run from the day injury or damage is sustained.
See also Kelley v. General Ins. Co. of
America, 14-0180 (La.App. 1 Cir. 12/23/14), 168 So.3d
528, 533, writs denied, 15-0157, 15-0165 (La.
4/10/15), 163 So.3d 814, 816. The objection of prescription
may be raised by a peremptory exception. LSA-C.C.P. art.
927A(1). At the trial of a peremptory exception, evidence may
be introduced to support or controvert any of the objections
pleaded, when the grounds thereof do not appear from the
petition. LSA-C.C.P. art. 931. When prescription is raised by
peremptory exception, without evidence being introduced at
the hearing on the exception, the exception must be decided
on the facts alleged in the petition, which are accepted as
true. Denoux v. Vessel Management Services, Inc.,
07-2143 (La. 5/21/08), 983 So.2d 84, 88. If no evidence is
introduced, the appellate court's role is to determine
whether the trial court's ruling was legally correct.
Onstott v. Certified Capital Corp., 05-2548 (La.App.
1 Cir. 11/3/06), 950 So.2d 744, 746.
prescription statutes are strictly construed against
prescription and in favor of the claim sought to be
extinguished by it. Bailey v. Khoury, 04-0620 (La.
1/20/05), 891 So.2d 1268, 1275. Prescription may be
renounced, interrupted, or suspended. See LSA-C.C. arts. 3449
through 3472; McKenzie v. Imperial Fire and Cas. Ins.