LORENE A. RANDAZZO
ST. BERNARD PARISH GOVERNMENT, ET AL.
FROM ST. BERNARD 34TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NO. 118-844,
DIVISION "C" Honorable Kim C. Jones, Judge
Michael Breeden BREEDEN LAW FIRM, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR
S. Rand, Jr. Andy L. Plauche', Jr. Attie B. Carville
Scott H. Mason Lacey S. Goss Katelyn Warrell PLAUCHE MASSELLI
PARKERSON LLP, Michael L. Fantaci Deborah A. Villio LEBLANC
FANTACI VILLIO, L.L.C., Sue Buser BURGLASS & TANKERSLEY,
Katie Whitman-Myers PHELPS DUNBAR, Robert I. Siegel Alistair
M. Ward GIEGER LABORDE & LAPEROUSE, LLC, Jeffrey C.
Brennan Travis L. Bourgeois Sidney W. Degan, III DEGAN
BLANCHARD & NASH COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Madeleine M. Landrieu,
Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano)
Cossich Lobrano Judge
A. Randazzo ("Appellant") appeals the district
court's judgments granting five motions for summary
judgment against her. Finding that the district court erred in
granting these motions for summary judgment, we reverse the
judgments and remand the case to the district court.
was the owner of a home located in Chalmette, Louisiana.
Appellant's home was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
Because of the damage the home suffered, St. Bernard Parish
("SBP") condemned the home in August of 2008. After
the initial condemnation of the home, Appellant was
successful in having her home removed from the condemnation
list for several years, until it was again condemned by SBP
in January of 2011. The record does not indicate that
Appellant ever made the required repairs to the home to get
it removed from the condemnation list.
received the final condemnation letter on January 26, 2011,
and the home was demolished on February 28, 2011. On February
24, 2012 Appellant filed a Petition for Damages stating that
SBP, its contractors, Barowka & Bonura Engineers and
Consultants, LLC ("BBEC") and Unified Recovery
Group, LLC ("URG"), and their insurers, Houston
Casualty Company ("HCC"), Scottsdale Insurance
Company ("Scottsdale"), and AIG Specialty Insurance
Company ("ASIC"), were liable for the improper
condemnation and demolition of her home. Specifically,
Appellant asserted that she never received legal notice of
URG, HCC, Scottsdale, and ASIC all filed motions for summary
judgment between October 24, 2014 and January 15,
2015. In response to claims filed against URG
and BBEC, URG and BBEC submitted parts of a deposition taken
of Jerry Graves, the Chief Administrative Officer of SBP,
given in June 2012 in another case, as an exhibit to their
motion for summary judgment. The parts of the deposition that
were submitted stated that URG was not involved in any of the
decision making processes with respect to condemning a home.
Instead, Mr. Graves stated that URG was solely responsible
for any demolition work that was issued by SBP. Selected
portions of a deposition of Anthony Gray Dillion and selected
portions of a deposition of David E. Parralta, both taken in
a case other than the one sub judice, were also
admitted. The insurer defendants, HCC, ASIC, and Scottsdale
adopted these exhibits by reference. It is undisputed that
Appellant was never noticed of these depositions, or given
the opportunity to cross-examine the deponents.
the summary judgment motions were granted by the district
court in open court on September 18, 2015. Written judgments
were signed as to URG, ASIC, HCC, BBEC, and Scottsdale
between September 29, 2015, and November 20, 2015.
See n. 1, supra. From these judgments,
Appellant timely appeals.
filed their motions for summary judgment prior to the
effective date of the 2016 amendments to La. C.C.P. art. 966.
As a result, the version of La. C.C.P. art. 966 effective
prior to the amendments applies to these
motions. The summary judgment procedure is favored
in Louisiana. La. C.C.P. art. 966(A)(2). The motion should be
granted if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions, together with the
affidavits, if any, admitted for the purposes of the motion
for summary judgment, show that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that the mover is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law." La. C.C.P. art. 966(B)(2). Regarding the
burden of proof on summary judgment, La. C.C.P. art.
The burden of proof remains with the movant. However, if the
movant will not bear the burden of proof at trial on the
matter that is before the court on the motion for summary
judgment, the movant's burden on the motion does not
require him to negate all essential elements of the adverse
party's claim, action, or defense, but rather to point
out to the court that there is an absence of factual support
for one or more elements essential to the adverse party's
claim, action, or defense. Thereafter, if the adverse party
fails to produce factual support sufficient to establish that
he will be able to satisfy his evidentiary burden of proof at
trial, there is no genuine issue of material fact.
courts review a grant of a motion for summary judgment de
novo using the same criteria district courts consider
when determining if summary judgment is proper. Kennedy
v. Sheriff of E. Baton Rouge, 2005-1418, p. 25 (La.
7/10/06), 935 So.2d 669, 686 (citations omitted).
first assignment of error, Appellant argues that the district
court erred by allowing Appellees to attach selected pages of
depositions taken in other lawsuits as an exhibit to their
motions for summary judgment. Appellant argues that she was
not given notice of these depositions or the opportunity to
cross-examine the deponents, ...