Appeal from the Twenty-First Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Tangipahoa State of Louisiana No.
Salley Covington, Louisiana Counsel for Plaintiffs/ Appellees
The Marietta Trust and The Warren Trust
Charles M. Reid Amite, Louisiana and Donna U. Grodner Baton
Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for Defendants/ Appellees and
Cross-Claimants Fair Hills Farm, LLC and Thomas Keaty, Jr.
Maureen O. Sullivan Jean Ann Billeaud Jenna Harris Lafayette,
Louisiana Counsel for Defendants/ Appellants and Cross
Claimants JR Logging Inc., Jerry Avants, Jr. and Indemnity
Ins. Co. of North America
Honorable Elizabeth P. Wolfe, Judge Presiding Cecily Salley
Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellees Covington, Louisiana The
Marietta Trust and The
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., GUIDRY, AND McCLENDON, JJ.
an appeal from a judgment that denied a motion to enforce a
settlement agreement in a timber dispute. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 7, 2013, the plaintiffs, the Marietta
Trust and the Warren Trust filed a petition
for wrongful timber cutting and for property damage,
penalties, interest, costs, and attorney fees. In their
petition, the plaintiffs named as defendants, Fair Hills
Farms, LLC and Thomas Keaty, Jr. (the Fair Hills defendants).
Also named as defendants were J.R. Logging, Inc., Jerry
Avants, Jr., and J.R. Logging's insurer, Indemnity
Insurance Company of North America (the J.R. Logging
defendants). Fair Hills owns property adjacent to the
plaintiffs' property in Tangipahoa Parish, and the
plaintiffs alleged that Fair Hills, along with its agent Mr.
Keaty, wrongfully cut timber on the plaintiffs' property.
The plaintiffs also alleged that J.R. Logging and Mr. Avants
were hired by Fair Hills and Mr. Keaty to cut the timber on
the Fair Hills property and that J.R. Logging and Mr. Avants
wrongfully cut the plaintiffs' timber. Thereafter, the
Fair Hills defendants and the J.R. Logging defendants filed
cross claims against each other.
November 9, 2015, the trial court held a status conference,
at which time the terms of a potential settlement were
discussed. The plaintiffs and the J.R. Logging defendants
proposed a settlement whereby the J.R. Logging defendants
would pay to the plaintiffs $20, 000.00 in consideration for
a dismissal of all claims against the J.R. Logging defendants
and the Fair Hills defendants. The proposed settlement also
included a dismissal of the cross claims between the
defendants. On November 13, 2015, Charles Reid, counsel for
the Fair Hills defendants, sent the following email to Cecily
Salley, counsel for the plaintiffs, and to Maureen Sullivan,
counsel for the J.R. Logging defendants:
After much thought, my clients have agreed to the settlement
proposal by the JR Logging/Avants Defendants whereby the
entire settlement amount will be paid by the JR
Logging/Avants Defendants and no payment made will be made by
Fair Hills Farms LLC and Thomas Keaty Jr. This settlement
requires all parties ... to dismiss the claims against each
other, including the Cross Claims between the JR
Logging/Avants defendants and the Fair Hills Farms/Keaty
Defendants. It is my understanding that Maureen will prepare
the settlement agreement, releases and dismissal. Thank you
in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
Sullivan responded by email that same day to Mr. Reid, with a
copy to Ms. Salley, stating:
Thank you for the information Chuck. We will prepare the
Settlement Agreement per your email. All claims, all parties