DEMETRIS HAYNIE AND CURTIS YOUNG, SR.
TWIN OAKS NURSING HOME, INC. AND ANNIE ALFORD
APPEAL FROM THE FORTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 64, 636,
DIVISION "C" HONORABLE J. STERLING SNOWDY, JUDGE
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, DEMETRIS HAYNIE AND CURTIS
YOUNG, SR. Pete Lewis Barrett R. Stephens Sarah D. Call.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, TWIN OAKS NURSING HOME Guy C.
Curry Douglas R. Kraus Laura C. Cocus.
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and
Robert A. Chaisson
M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE.
Demetris Haynie and Curtis Young, Sr., appeal the summary
judgment dismissing their suit for injuries against
defendant, Twin Oaks Nursing Home, Inc. For the following
reasons, we vacate and reverse the summary judgment.
and Procedural History
April 4, 2012, Annie Alford, co-defendant herein, while
working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Twin Oaks Nursing
Home in LaPlace, struck her supervisor, Demetris Haynie.
According to the record before us, Ms. Haynie, as the
supervisor, approached Ms. Alford to instruct her to report
to Ms. Haynie's office. When Ms. Haynie turned around,
Ms. Alford attacked her from behind, striking her three to
four times in the head and neck. When questioned by the
authorities, Ms. Alford, who had been written up for prior
work-related problems, reported that she "knew they were
going to fire me so I gave them a damn good reason to."
Ms. Haynie suffered bruises, scratches, a black eye, and soft
March 21, 2013, Ms. Haynie filed suit against Ms. Alford and
their employer, Twin Oaks Nursing Home, Inc. (hereinafter
"Twin Oaks") for the damages that she sustained. On
July 27, 2016, Twin Oaks filed a motion for summary judgment
on the basis that Twin Oaks is not vicariously liable for Ms.
Alford's actions. The matter was heard on September 22,
2016 and taken under advisement. In an Order dated September
28, 2016, the trial judge granted the motion and dismissed
the petition against Twin Oaks. In that Order, the trial
judge opined that Ms. Haynie failed to establish that the
tortious act was primarily employment rooted and that the
action was not incidental to the performance of Ms.
The likelihood that a subordinate (while feeding an aged
patient in the employer's cafeteria) would leave a
patient and repeatedly strike her supervisor is simply not a
risk fairly attributable to the performance of the
employee's duties. The subordinate's duties do not
include severely attacking a supervisor or any other
employee. Likewise, it is not foreseeable for the employer to
foresee such conduct on the job-site [sic] during
working hours. Alford's actions were therefore not
reasonably incidental to the performance of her employment.
October 13, 2016, the trial judge issued a judgment,
reiterating its earlier dismissal and declaring the judgment
final under La. C.C.P. art. 1915.
appeal, Ms. Haynie raises four assignments of error: first,
the trial court erred in failing to conclude that remaining
genuine issues of material fact prohibit summary judgment in
this case; second, the trial court erred in determining that
there were no genuine issues of material fact regarding
whether the altercation at issue was employment rooted;
third, the trial court erred in determining that there were
no genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the
altercation at issue was reasonably incidental to the
performance of the employee's duties; and fourth, the
trial court erred in drawing a conclusion on the predominant
motive of the tortfeasor, Annie Alford. In essence, Ms.
Haynie argues that this matter was not ripe for summary
courts review summary judgments de novo using the
same criteria that govern the district court's
consideration of whether summary judgment is appropriate.
Guillory v. Interstate Gas Station, 94-1767 (La.
3/30/95), 653 So.2d 1152; Reynolds v. Select Properties
Ltd., 93-1480 (La. 4/11/94), 634 So.2d 1180. A motion
for summary judgment shall be granted if the motion,
memorandum, and supporting documents show that there is no
genuine issue as to material fact and that the ...