Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
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.

Taylor v. Clarke Power Services, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

November 2, 2017

MARIANA ALVARADO TAYLOR
v.
CLARKE POWER SERVICES, INC. ET AL.

         SECTION I

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is a motion for partial summary judgment filed by defendants Clarke Power Services, Inc. d.b.a. VehiCare (“VehiCare”) and its insurer Continental Casualty Company (“CCC”) regarding the plaintiff's ability to recover certain medical expenses for herself and her minor children. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

         I.

         On July 22, 2015, Rahn Taylor was killed in an automobile crash on Interstate 12 between Lacombe and Slidell, Louisiana. At the time of the accident, Taylor was driving a tractor-trailer owned by his employer, Crescent City Distributing (“CCD”), which had contracted with VehiCare for the inspection and maintenance of its tractor-trailer fleet. The crash allegedly resulted from a sudden tire failure on the right front steering axle.

         Taylor's wife filed the present lawsuit on behalf of herself and her minor children, claiming that VehiCare was negligent in failing to properly inspect and maintain the tractor-trailer driven by her husband at the time of his death. Mrs. Taylor seeks a variety of damages including physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and mental anguish, loss of love and affection, loss of earnings and/or support, and loss of consortium. As pertinent here, she also seeks to recover certain medical and medical-related expenses for herself and her minor children. In this regard, she has produced three life care plans that contain detailed estimates of her family's future medical and medical-related needs.

         The life care plan for Mrs. Taylor provides for $11, 389 for various evaluations; $30, 550 for future medical care; $485, 100 for home child care services; $389, 363.80 for medications; $518, 250 for plan administration; and $167, 600 for therapeutic modalities such as psychotherapy and family therapy for a total of $1, 602, 252.80.[1]The life care plan for Mrs. Taylor's son, Rahn, Jr., provides for $19, 373 for various evaluations; $38, 493 for future medical care; $22, 990 for home care case management; $344, 841.04 for medications; $465, 500 for plan administration; and $282, 466 for therapeutic modalities including speech therapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and tutorial services for a total of $1, 173, 663.04.[2] The life care plan for Mrs. Taylor's daughter, Rhiana, who is autistic and suffers from a genetic disorder, provides for $48, 198 for various evaluations; $43, 992 for future medical care; $31, 253, 125 for facility care; $2, 369, 235 for home attendant care and case management; $974, 500 for plan administration; and $596, 376 for therapeutic modalities including speech therapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, and tutorial services for a total of $35, 285, 426.[3] The total for all three life care plans is a staggering $38, 064, 341.84.

         VehiCare and CCC now seek summary judgment that these anticipated expenses are not recoverable as damages in a wrongful death action.

         II.

         Summary judgment is proper when, after reviewing the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits, the court determines that there is no genuine dispute of material fact. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. “[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment need not produce evidence negating the existence of material fact, but need only point out the absence of evidence supporting the other party's case. Id.; Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780 F.2d 1190, 1195 (5th Cir. 1986).

         Once the party seeking summary judgment carries its burden, the nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine dispute of material fact for trial. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The showing of a genuine issue is not satisfied by creating “‘some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ' by ‘conclusory allegations, ' by ‘unsubstantiated assertions, ' or by only a ‘scintilla' of evidence.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). Instead, a genuine issue of material fact exists when the “evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “Although the substance or content of the evidence submitted to support or dispute a fact on summary judgment must be admissible . . ., the material may be presented in a form that would not, in itself, be admissible at trial.” Lee v. Offshore Logistical and Transp., LLC, 859 F.3d 353, 355 (5th Cir. 2017) (quotation omitted).

         The party responding to the motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the pleadings but must identify specific facts that establish a genuine issue. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. The nonmoving party's evidence, however, “is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in [the nonmoving party's] favor.” Id. at 255; see also Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999).

         III.

         Under Louisiana law, “[i]f a person dies due to the fault of another, suit may be brought by [the surviving spouse and . . . children of the deceased] to recover damages which they sustained as a result of the death.” La. Civ. Code art. 2315.2. “Wrongful death damages are meant to compensate the designated survivors for their loss of the decedent.” Salama v. State of La., 211 So.3d 396, 399 (La. Ct. App. 1st Cir. 2017). “The elements of damage for a wrongful death action are loss of love, affection, companionship, services, support, medical expenses and funeral expenses. Additionally, the courts have allowed damages in wrongful death actions for mental pain, suffering, and distress resulting from the death of the victim.”[4]Hill v. Shelter Mut. Ins. Co., 935 So.2d 691, 695 (La. 2006). Furthermore, “[d]amages awarded for wrongful death are general damages since the value of the loss is not subject to a pecuniary calculation.” Leary v. State Farm ...


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.