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Lewis v. Old Republic Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

August 23, 2017

LIONEL LEWIS
v.
OLD REPUBLIC INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.

         SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 2014-4270 HONORABLE EDWARD B. BROUSSARD, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Bret Christopher Beyer, Sr. attorney at law counsel for defendants/respondents:Old Republic Insurance Company BFI Waste Services, LLC Dustin Mason

          Keith P. Saltzman Anderson & Dozier COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RELATOR: Lionel Lewis

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION, JUDGE.

         From the denial of his motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, Plaintiff/Relator, Mr. Lionel Lewis, has applied to this court for supervisory relief. We granted Relator's application. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and render judgment in favor of Relator.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This case arises from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on September 10, 2013, in Lafayette Parish. Mr. Lewis was operating a tractor trailer in the course of his employment with Reinhart Transportation. He stopped at a red traffic signal and was hit from behind by a garbage truck driven by Mr. Dustin Mason, who was employed by BFI Waste Services, L.L.C.

         Mr. Lewis sued Mr. Mason, BFI Waste Services, L.L.C., and their insurer, Old Republic Insurance Company (Respondents), in August 2014. In February 2017, Mr. Lewis filed motions for summary judgment on the issues of liability and insurance coverage. The motions were set for hearing on March 27, 2017. The defendants filed their opposition to the motions on March 17, 2017, and included in their opposition an objection to the inclusion by Mr. Lewis of the Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report. On March 22, 2017, Relator filed a motion to strike the defendants' untimely opposition.

         The trial court granted Mr. Lewis's motion for summary judgment on the issue of insurance coverage. Although the trial court stated on the record that the Respondents' late submissions were not considered, it denied Mr. Lewis's motion on the issue of liability. From the denial of this motion, Mr. Lewis sought this court's exercise of its supervisory jurisdiction, which was granted.

         ANALYSIS

         A denial of a motion for summary judgment is interlocutory, and the only remedy available is to seek supervisory relief. Breaux v. Cozy Cottages, LLC, 14-486 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/12/14), 151 So.3d 183.

         Motions for summary judgment are governed by La.Code Civ.P. arts. 966 and 967. These articles have been extensively amended by the legislature since 1996, when the legislature first pronounced that summary judgment procedure is favored. See 1996 La.Acts 1st Ex.Sess. No. 9, §1. The most recent amendment to Article 966(B) altered the deadlines for filing motions for summary judgment and oppositions thereto. 2015 La.Acts No. 422. Paragraph (B) now provides:

Unless extended by the court and agreed to by all of the parties, a motion for summary judgment shall be filed, opposed, or replied to in accordance ...

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