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Shields v. Alvin R. Savoie & Associates, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 1, 2017

JAMES E. SHIELDS, JR., CHRISTINE F. SHIELDS, JAMES E. SHIELDS, III, AND JOSEPH LUKE SHIELDS
v.
ALVIN R. SAVOIE & ASSOCIATES, INC. D/B/A SAVOIECONSTRUCTION, INC., FOSTER-TAYLOR FIREPLACES, INC., AMERICAN EMPIRE SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY, THE TRAVLERS INDEMNITY COMPANY OF CONNECTICUT, ROSS SAVOIE, ROSS SAVOIE CONSTRUCTION, LLC, AMERICAN EMPIRE SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE COMPANY, AMERICA'S CHOICE 2-10 HOME BUYER'S WARRANTY, AND JKL INSURANCE COMPANY ASI LLOYDS AS SUBROGEE OF JAMES AND CHRISTINE SHIELDS
v.
SAVOIE CONSTRUCTION, INC., SAVOIE CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT, LLC, ANDFOSTER-TAYLOR FIREPLACES, INC.

         On Appeal from the 22nd Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of St. Tammany State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 2012-10392 Consolidated With 2012-10262 Honorable Peter J. Garcia, Judge Presiding

          James E. Shields, Jr. James E. Shields, Sr. Gretna, LA Attorneys for Plaintiffs-Appellants, James E. Shields, Jr., Christine F. Shields, James E. Shields, III and Joseph Luke Shields

          George J. Richaud Metairie, LA Attorney for Defendant-Appellee, J. Ross Savoie

          Christopher R. Teske Eric S. Charleston New Orleans, LA Attorneys for Defendant-Appellee, American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company

          Sean M. Casey Mandeville, LA Attorney for Defendants-Appellees, Foster-Taylor Fireplaces, Inc., and the Travelers Indemnity Company Connecticut

          Ross F. Lagarde Slidell, LA Attorney for Defendant-Appellee, J. Ross Savoie Construction, LLC

          BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.

          HIGGINBOTHAM, J.

         This consolidated matter has been before this court numerous times. For a detailed outline of the facts and procedural history in this controversial litigation, see Shields v. Alvin R. Savoie & Associates, Inc., 2016-0825 c/w 2016-0826 (La.App. 1st Cir. 2/17/17), 214 So.3d 27, writ denied, 2017-0506 (La. 5/19/17), 220 So.3d 750 ("Shields I"), and Shields v. Alvin R. Savoie & Associates, Inc., 2016-0827 c/w 2016-0828 (La.App. 1st Cir. 2/17/17), 217 So.3d 420 ("Shields II"). Most recently, the homeowners, James E. Shields, Jr. and Christine F. Shields, along with their two sons, filed another appeal related to the summary judgment dismissal of additional defendants, J. Ross Savoie and Ross Savoie Construction, LLC (collectively referred to as "Savoie") in a related consolidated appeal decided this same date. See Shields v. Alvin R. Savoie Construction, Inc., et al (2017-0602 c/w 2017-0603 (La.App. 1st Cir. ___/___/17), - So.3d - ("Shields III"). The particular consolidated appeal ("Shields IV") currently before us concerns the summary judgment dismissal of Savoie's commercial general liability insurer, American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company ("American Empire").

         In Shields III, we concluded that the district court properly dismissed the homeowners' claims against Savoie as perempted. Because of our affirmation of the dismissal of the homeowners' claims against Savoie, it follows that the homeowners no longer have a viable claim against Savoie's insurer, American Empire. As we held in Shields III, the scope of American Empire's liability extends only as far as the liability of its insureds, Savoie. Because the homeowners cannot recover damages against Savoie due to peremption, they likewise cannot recover damages against American Empire. See Barnett v. Watkins, 2006-2442 (La.App. 1st Cir. 9/19/07), 970 So.2d 1028, 1037, writ denied, 2007-2066 (La. 12/14/07), 970 So.2d 537.

         Consequently, for the same reasons expressed in our opinion in the related Shields III consolidated appeal, we hereby affirm via summary opinion in accordance with Uniform Rules of Louisiana Courts of Appeal, Rule 2-16.2, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of American Empire and dismissal of all of the homeowners' claims against American Empire. All costs of ...


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