Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Badeaux v. State

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 1, 2017



          Brad R. Matthews Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorney for Plaintiff/Appellee Vicki Badeaux

          Jeff Landry Attorney General and Maynard K. Batiste, Sr. Assistant Attorney General Attorneys for Defendant/ Appellant State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Department of Economic Development


          MCDONALD, J.

         In this appeal, a state entity appeals a judgment finding it liable for damages to an actress the entity hired to film an informational video. The actress was injured when the stand upon which she was instructed to hang her extra clothing toppled and struck her on the head. We affirm.


         On December 14, 2010, Vicki Badeaux was scheduled to perform as an actress in an informational video filmed by The Louisiana Department of Economic Development (LDED). As instructed, Mrs. Badeaux arrived at the set with extra clothing from which her outfit for the video would be chosen. Mr. James Dupree, the LDED Fast Start Media Department Manager, instructed her to hang her extra outfits on a nearby C-stand so they could review her script before filming. The C-stand was a general purpose stand having an extendable arm and typically used for multiple purposes on a movie set. As Mrs. Badeaux hung her clothes on the C-stand, it tipped over and struck her on the right side of the head. Mr. Dupree yelled a warning and caught the C-stand before it fell completely over, but not before it struck Mrs. Badeaux and knocked her backward. Mr. Dupree sat Mrs. Badeaux in a nearby chair for about 15 to 30 minutes, noticed a red bump on her head, and asked if she needed medical treatment, which she declined. After Mrs. Badeaux said she could continue, Mr. Dupree chose her outfit, gave her a script, and her part in the video was filmed.

         About two weeks after the incident, Mrs. Badeaux began to have sharp, shooting pains in her right temple. Over the next seven months, she consulted her primary care physician, underwent brain imaging, and saw two neurologists. In May 2011, she was diagnosed with a mild concussive head injury and chronic posttraumatic headaches attributable to the December 2010 incident. She took prescription medication for a while but experienced side effects and decided to discontinue the medication. At the time of trial, in December 2016, Mrs. Badeaux testified that she still had sharp shooting pains in her head.

         In December 2011, Mrs. Badeaux filed this personal injury suit against LDED, and the case ultimately proceeded to a bench trial. At the end of Mrs. Badeaux's case, LDED moved for an involuntary dismissal, which the district court denied. LDED proceeded with its case, after which the district court took the case under advisement. On January 27, 2017, the district court signed a judgment: (1) finding LDED 75% at fault and Mrs. Badeaux 25% at fault for her damages; (2) finding Mrs. Badeaux sustained $8, 345 in special damages and $41, 655 in general damages; and (3) finding LDED liable to her for $37, 500 (75% of her total damages), plus interest; and (4) ordering LDED to pay all court costs.

         LDED appeals from the adverse judgment, asserting that the district court erred: (1) in denying its motion for involuntary dismissal, and (2) by finding Mrs. Badeaux sustained $41, 655 in general damages when the evidence showed that not all of her medical expenses were attributable to the December 14, 2010 accident.


         Although LDED characterized its motion as one for a directed verdict, it actually was a motion for involuntary dismissal, since this matter was tried by a court rather than a jury. See LSA-C.C.P. arts. 1672 and 1810. Nevertheless, the error is one of form rather than substance, as the ultimate object of both motions is the same. Gilmer v. Parish Sterling Stuckey, 09-0901 (La.App. 1 Cir. 12/23/09), 30 So.3d 782, 785 n.2. Under LSA-C.C.P. art. 1672B, after the plaintiff has presented his evidence, any party may move for dismissal of the action on the ground that, upon the facts and law, the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. The district court may then determine the facts and render judgment against the plaintiff and in favor of the moving party or may decline to render any judgment until the close of all the evidence. The district court's purely discretionary decision to deny a motion for involuntary dismissal at the close of a plaintiffs case leaves nothing for this court to review on appeal. Pierrotti v. Johnson, 16-0204 (La.App. 1 Cir. 10/28/16), 2016 WL 6330423 at *12 (unpublished), writ denied, 17-0002 (La. 2/10/17), 216 So.3d 47; Townsend v. Delchamps, Inc., 94-1511 (La.App. 1 Cir. 10/06/95), 671 So.2d 513, 514 n.1, writ denied, 95-2648 (La. 1/12/96), 667 So.2d 522.

         Here, the district court, in its discretion, denied LDED's motion to dismiss and heard all of the evidence presented before rendering its decision on the merits. Thus, we have nothing to review on appeal with regard to that ruling. But, we note that LDED's appeal was expressly taken from the district court's January 27, 2017 final judgment, which was rendered after all evidence was presented. And, after reading LDED's appellate brief, it is clear that LDED's first assignment of error is a challenge to the district court's final judgment finding LDED liable to Mrs. Badeaux rather than just a challenge to the district court's denial of the motion for involuntary dismissal. Under LSA-C.C.P. art. 2164, an appellate court shall render ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.