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Blanchard v. Mitchell

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

July 12, 2017

STEVE BLANCHARD
v.
MICHAEL J. MITCHELL, ET AL.

         SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF AVOYELLES, NO. 2015-1928 HONORABLE KERRY L. SPRUILL, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Joseph B. Stamey Stamey & Miller, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

          Cory P. Roy Brandon J. Scott Benjamin D. James Renee Y. Roy Roy & Scott, Attorneys at Law 107 North Washington Street Marksville, LA COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Steve Blanchard

          Wade A. Johnson Law Office of Sheryl Story COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Robin Ewing Pool Supplies, Inc.

          Mary K. Cryar Coverage Litigation Group COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Valley Forge Insurance Company

          Jeffrey S. Ingram COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

          Michael J. Mitchell In Proper COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/ RESPONDENT: Michael J. Mitchell

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, Phyllis M. Keaty, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS, JUDGE

         On June 26, 2014, Troy Rogers was acting within the course and scope of his employment with Relator, Robin Ewing Pool Supplies, Inc. ("Robin Ewing Pool Supplies") when he went to a customer's house to clean a swimming pool. Mr. Rogers drove a vehicle owned by Relator to get to the customer's home in Alexandria, Louisiana. When Mr. Rogers arrived at the customer's residence, he parked the vehicle on the street in front of the residence. Mr. Rogers left the keys in the vehicle during the twenty to twenty-five minutes that he was working on the customer's pool. While the vehicle was parked on the street, Michael Mitchell entered the vehicle and drove away in it. When Mr. Rogers heard the vehicle crank up, he ran after the vehicle and later reported it stolen. While Mr. Mitchell was driving the vehicle owed by Relator, he got into an accident with Plaintiff, Steve Blanchard. As a result of the accident, Plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against his UM insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company; Mr. Mitchell; and Relators herein (Robin Ewing Pool Supplies, and its UM insurer, Valley Forge Insurance). Relators filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of Plaintiff s claims against them. The trial court denied the motion for summary judgment, and Relators now seek review of that ruling.

         SUPERVISORY RELIEF

         Since the denial of a motion for summary judgment is an interlocutory ruling from which no appeal may be taken, the only practical remedy available to avoid a possible useless trial on the merits is to request that the appellate court exercise its supervisory jurisdiction to review the propriety of this ruling. Louviere v. Byers, 526 So.2d 1253 (La.App. 3 Cir.), writ denied, 528 So.2d 153 (La. 1988).

         ON THE MERITS

         Relators assert that the trial court erred when it denied their motion for summary judgment. Relators contend that Plaintiff is attempting to have them held liable for the automobile accident at issue based ...


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