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Scott v. Galleria Operating Co., L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

November 15, 2017

JENNIFER SCOTT
v.
GALLERIA OPERATING CO., L.L.C., FEIL ORGANIZATION, L.L.C., FEIL ORGANIZATION LOUISIANA, L.L.C., BROADWALL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, CHUBB SERVICES CORPORATION, AND U.S. SPECIALITY INSURANCE COMPANY

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 749-599, DIVISION "D" HONORABLE SCOTT U.SCHLEGEL, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, JENNIFER SCOTT JOHN J. RADZIEWICZ

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, FEIL ORGANIZATION, LLC, BROADWALL MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, CHUBB SERVICES CORPORATION, AND U.S. SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY SIDNEY J. ANGELLE, STEPHEN J. ECKHOLDT

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, GALLERIA OPERATING CO., LLC NAHUM D. LAVENTHAL

          Panel composed of Judges Robert M. Murphy, Stephen J. Windhorst, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE

         Appellant, Jennifer Scott, appeals the trial court's September 7, 2016 judgment granting summary judgment in favor of appellees, Galleria Operating Co., LLC (Galleria); Feil Organization, LLC (Feil); Feil Organization Louisiana, LLC (Feil La); Broadwall Management Corporation (Broadwall); Chubb Services Corporation (Chubb); and U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (US Specialty), and dismissing appellant's case with prejudice. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         On May 16, 2014, appellant was an employee of Louisiana Singles, Inc., which had offices on the 23rd floor of the Galleria office building (The Galleria) located at 1 Galleria Boulevard in Metairie. When appellant arrived for work, she parked on the second floor of the parking garage adjacent to The Galleria. Appellant was dressed in her usual business attire: blouse and pants, purse on her left shoulder, and shoes with a two inch heel. Appellant exited her vehicle and started walking toward the elevator lobby entrance on the second floor of the parking garage. As appellant was walking, the heel of her right shoe went into a "hole" that was present in the concrete surface. As a result, she fell and allegedly sustained injuries to her right shoulder and neck, with scrapes and bruising to her right knee and right forearm.

         Appellant filed a petition for damages against appellees contending that she sustained damages as a result of appellees' negligence in failing to warn of or remedy a hazardous condition in the parking garage.

         On February 19, 2016, appellees filed a motion for summary judgment contending that: (1) the alleged defect did not present an unreasonable risk of harm; and (2) appellees did not have actual or constructive notice of the alleged defect prior to the incident. After a contradictory hearing, the trial court granted appellees' motion for summary judgment and dismissed appellant's case with prejudice. This appeal followed.

         Discussion

         Appellate courts review the granting of a summary judgment de novo using the same criteria governing the trial court's consideration of whether summary judgment is appropriate. Duncan v. U.S.A.A. Ins. Co., 06-363 (La. 11/29/06), 950 So.2d 544, 547; Smith v. Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Inc., 93-2512 (La. 07/05/94), 639 So.2d 730, 750. Summary judgment shall be granted if the motion, memorandum, and supporting documents show that there is no genuine issue as to material fact and the mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. La. C.C.P. art. 966 A(3).

         La. C.C. art. 2317.1 governs negligence claims against the owner or custodian of ...


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