ANTHONY ZENO, VANESSA ZENO, AND MONE'T C. ZENO Plaintiffs-Appellants
GREAT SOUTHERN COACHES OF ARKANSAS, INC., NEW HAMPSHIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, JOSEPH L. GUIDRY, ANPAC LOUISIANA INSURANCE COMPANY, HAYMOND INSURANCE COMPANY, ABC TRUCKING COMPANY, ABC INSURANCE COMPANY, AND XYZ INSURANCE COMPANY Defendants-Appellees
from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 560, 053 Honorable
Ramon Lafitte, Judge
MORRIS, DEWETT & SAVOIE, LLC By: B. Trey Morris G. Adam
Savoie Counsel for Appellants
WILKINSON, CARMODY & GILLIAM By: Bobby S. Gilliam
Jonathan P. McCartney KOEPPEL CLARK TURNER By: Peter Stephen
Koeppel Donesia D. Turner Emma A. Mekinda Counsel for
Appellees Great Southern Coaches of Ark., Inc., New Hampshire
Ins. Co., and Joseph L. Guidry
IRION, SALLEY, CARLISLE & GARDNER By: Ronald E. Raney
Ryan O. Goodwin Counsel for Appellee ANPAC La. Ins. Co.
BROWN, DREW, and MOORE, JJ.
Anthony Zeno, Vanessa Zeno, and Mone't C. Zeno, appeal
from a summary judgment that dismissed their tort action. We
incident that led to this lawsuit happened in Ohio in the
summer of 2011. A group of nearly 50 recent high school
graduates affiliated with First Baptist Bossier chartered a
tour bus owned by Great Southern Coaches of Arkansas, Inc.
("Great Southern"), and operated by driver Joseph
Guidry. At about 11 a.m. on June 3, 2011, the bus was
southbound on Interstate 75 when a metal object hit the bus
windshield. The object pierced the windshield, narrowly
missing Mr. Guidry, and flew through the interior of the bus
until it struck Mone't Zeno in the face, seriously
1, 2012, the Zenos filed suit in the First Judicial District
Court against Great Southern, Guidry, and their insurer, New
Hampshire Insurance Company ("NHIC"). After over two
years of discovery that included the depositions of numerous
witnesses, defendants Great Southern, Guidry, and NHIC filed
a motion for summary judgment, urging that plaintiffs could
not prove that the movers had any fault in causing the
motion was supported by 19 exhibits, including:
• A police report from Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper
Timothy Wenger. Trooper Wenger responded to the accident and
created the lengthy report, which included a diagram of the
accident and a list of the bus passengers.
• An affidavit from Trooper Wenger, stating that he had
been trained and certified in crash investigation and that,
in his opinion, the accident was not the fault of the bus
• Brief excerpts from the depositions of 15 witnesses who
were passengers on the bus, including the plaintiff.
these excerpts, we learn:
• Ms. Ashley Doucet said that the hole in the bus
windshield was "six to eight inches above [the
driver's] head"; Valerie Ashby said the hole was
about a foot over Guidry's head.
• Ashby said that she didn't notice Guidry driving
"fast or slow, " and agreed that it appeared that
Guidry was driving "at a normal rate of speed."
• Dana Howard described the accident:
We were driving along just, you know, traveling, using phones
or watching a movie. I'm not sure what was happening
right at the same time. All of a sudden, Mr. Joe said,
"Oh, that - I think a bird must have hit us or
something." He very calmly pulled the bus over to the
-the road. After we saw what had happened, we were just very
thankful that he kept a calm head and took care of us because
it could have been really bad.
Ms. Howard also said that the bus was "not really"
noisy and was "never really a rowdy bus like middle
• Passenger/chaperone Wendy Walker, who had been a
school bus driver for 14 years, said that Guidry handled the
situation "better than I probably ever would have done
in my life. I probably would have panicked."
• Passenger/chaperone Paul Reiser was at the front of
the bus when the incident happened. Reiser said:
I got up front. I'm sitting on the steps putting in the
-changing out the DVD. I see the little shadow come over, so
I duck my head. You hear the burst. You feel the glass and
stuff fall on your head. So I immediately looked up, looked
over to Mr. Joe and he was like - he was very impressive. I
mean, he was totally calm. I saw him - everything kind of
went into slow motion at that point. … So I saw him
like - he was looking at the - he was looking at his side
mirrors, he was - you know, just had total control of the
vehicle, you know, immediately began slowing down the vehicle
and he was checking his side and he pulled over to the side
of the road, pulled over to the shoulder. I expected to hear
screaming. I expected to stand up and turn around and see,
you know, just catastrophe, but actually, it was just really
quiet. And so I turned around and saw just a bunch of quiet,
scared kids and nothing seemed to be happening. So I'm
like, "we made it." And then someone ran to the
front of the bus and said 'call 911, " you know, so
I called 911.
• Josh Ashby said, "I think [Guidry] did a great
job of - when it happened, so - I mean, he pulled over. He
didn't lose control. He didn't panic."
• Kara Forbis, Kristina Rowe, and Robert Stephenson said
that there was never a time prior to the accident that they
felt unsafe on the bus.
• Stephenson said that their bus was traveling in the
outside lane, and that he "vaguely remember[ed]" a
"larger 18-wheeler of some type going past us[.]"
• Mone't Zeno said that there was never a time prior
to the accident when she didn't feel safe and that she
was sitting three rows from the back seat on the ...