Appeal from the 23rd Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of Ascension State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 113,
206, Honorable Alvin Turner, Jr., Judge Presiding
M. Emonet Greg A. Rozas Baton Rouge, LA, Attorneys for
Plaintiff-Respondent, Kerry Maggio.
Nicholas C. Gristina Gordon P. Guthrie, III Leandro R. Area
New Orleans, LA, Attorneys for Defendant, James Parker.
Geoffrey C. Hingle, Jr. Lance B. Williams Quincy T. Crochet
Covington, LA, Attorneys for Defendants-Relators, Sandwich
Kings, LLC d/b/a Jimmy John's, and Republic-Vanguard
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, THERIOT, AND CHUTZ, JJ.
matter arising out of an automobile accident,
defendants-relators, The Sandwich Kings, LLC (d/b/a Jimmy
John's) and Republic-Vanguard Insurance Company filed an
application for supervisory writs to this court to review the
trial court judgment denying their motion for summary
judgment based on a release entered into by
plaintiff-respondent, Mr. Kerry Maggio.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
January 14, 2015, Mr. Maggio was involved in a motor vehicle
accident with Mr. James Parker on Airline Highway in
Gonzalez, Louisiana. After the accident on June 19, 2015, Mr.
Maggio filed a petition for damages naming as defendants: Mr.
Parker, the driver of the vehicle; Sandwich Kings, Mr.
Parker's employer, contending that Mr. Parker was in the
course and scope of his employment at the time of the
accident; Republic-Vanguard, Sandwich King's automobile
insurer; and Metropolitan Property Casualty Insurance
Company, Mr. Maggio's uninsured motorist insurer.
than a month after filing suit, on July 6, 2015, Mr. Maggio
entered into a "Final Release and Settlement of
Claim" (the release) with Brenda Parker, Mr.
Parker's mother, and Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty
Insurance Company, the automobile liability insurer of the
vehicle driven by Mr. Parker and owned by Ms. Parker. Farm
Bureau and Ms. Parker were not named defendants in the suit
filed by Mr. Maggio. In the release, for consideration of the
payment of $25, 000.00, Mr. Maggio released Ms. Parker and
Farm Bureau, as well as, "all other persons, firms, or
corporations who are or might be liable" for the January
14, 2015 accident. After obtaining a copy of the release, on
March 30, 2016, Sandwich Kings and Republic-Vanguard
(relators) filed a motion for summary judgment contending
that the release effectively released all persons who might
be liable for the injuries Mr. Maggio incurred as a result of
the January 14, 2015 accident, including relators. Mr. Maggio
opposed the motion for summary judgment, arguing that
relators were not a party to the release and did not provide
any consideration for the release, and therefore, cannot
claim a benefit from it.
district court denied relators' motion for summary
judgment, and relators filed for supervisory writs with this
court seeking review of the district court's decision. On
October 7, 2016, relators' writ was denied by this court,
and relators filed for supervisory writs with the supreme
court. On December 16, 2016, the supreme court granted
relators' writ application and remanded the matter to
this court for briefing, argument, and full opinion. Pursuant
to the supreme court's remand and the recent revisions to
summary judgment law, we now consider the district
court's judgment denying relators' motion for summary
judgment. The issue is whether Mr. Maggio relinquished his
rights to pursue a claim against relators based on the terms
of the release.
appeal, summary judgments are reviewed de novo under
the same criteria that govern the trial court's
consideration of whether summary judgment is appropriate.
Sunrise Const, and Development Corp. v. Coast Waterworks,
Inc., 2000-0303 (La.App. 1st Cir. 6/22/01), 806 So.2d 1,
3, writ denied, 2001-2577 (La. 1/11/02), 807 So.2d
235.A motion for summary judgment shall be granted if
the motion, memorandum, and supporting documents show that
there is no genuine issue as to material fact and that the
mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. La. Code
Civ. P. art. 966(A)(3). The party filing the summary judgment
motion bears the burden of proof. La. Code Civ. P. art.
966(D)(1). If the mover will not bear the burden of proof at
trial on the issue, the mover need only point out to the
court the absence of factual support for one or more elements
essential to the adverse party's claim, action, or
defense. Id. The burden is on the adverse party to
produce factual support sufficient to establish the existence
of a genuine issue of material fact or that the mover is not
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. Facts
are material if they potentially insure or preclude recovery,
affect a litigant's ultimate success, or determine the
outcome of the legal dispute. Simply put, a material fact is
one that would matter on the trial on the merits. Smith
v. Our Lady of the Lake Hosp., Inc., 93-2512 (La.
7/5/94), 639 So.2d 730, 751. Although summary judgment is
seldom appropriate for determinations based on subjective
facts of motive, intent, good faith, knowledge, or malice,
summary judgment may be granted on subjective intent issues
when no issue of material fact exists concerning the
pertinent intent. Jones v. Estate of Santiago,
2003-1424 (La. 4/14/04), 870 So.2d 1002, 1006. Because it is
the applicable substantive law that determines ...