LINDA M. SNAVELY, ET AL.
ACE PAIN MANAGEMENT, LLC, ET AL.
FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NOS. 2011-0381, C/W 2014-3917, C/W 2014-5373
HONORABLE EDWARD D. RUBIN, DISTRICT JUDGE
K. Breaud Timothy W. Basden Breaud & Meyers COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANTS/APPELLANTS: Ace Pain Management, LLC Rice Medical
Management, LLC Margaret Rice, M.D., APMLLC Margaret A. Rice,
M.D. Stacey E. Singleton
Lomax Jordan, Jr. Max Jordan, Lawyer COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Linda M. Snavely
H. Gibson Charles M. Kreamer Michael O. Adley Allen &
Gooch COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: J. Lomax Jordan, Jr.
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, D. Kent Savoie, and Van H.
KENT SAVOIE JUDGE
appeal the trial court's order consolidating three
motions for sanctions filed in three separate actions, as
well as the trial court's denial on the merits of those
actions. Plaintiff and her attorney assert an exception of
prescription. For the following reasons, we grant the
exception and dismiss Defendants' motions.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
parties herein have an extensive litigation history arising
out of a 2010 motorcycle accident involving Brian Snavely and
Brian's subsequent death on August 18, 2012.
the motorcycle accident, Brian initiated an action in the
Fifteenth Judicial District Court for Lafayette Parish
("the Fifteenth JDC") against the parents of the
minor driver of another vehicle involved in the accident, as
well as the parents' insurer. This action was assigned to
Division C before Judge Rubin and given docket number 11-0381
("the motorcycle action").
prior to, and following the accident, Brian received pain
management treatment from Dr. Margaret Rice. Approximately
two years after Brian's death, Brian's mother, Linda
Snavely, initiated three separate actions alleging that
medical treatment provided by Dr. Rice and/or various related
medical entities caused or contributed to Brian's death.
on June 26, 2014, Ms. Snavely sought to convene a medical
review panel against Dr. Rice, Mr. Stacey Singleton, who was
an accountant, as well as the following entities: Margaret A.
Rice, APMLLC; Rice Medical Management, LLC; and Ace Pain
Management, LLC ("the Rice Entities"). However,
according to the Patient's Compensation Fund
("PCF"), only Dr. Rice was a qualified healthcare
provider entitled to a medical review panel. Defendants
sought a docket number from the Fifteenth JDC, and the matter
was assigned to Division K before Judge Michot and given
docket number 14-3917 (hereinafter "the PCF
action"). On September 10, 2014, Dr. Rice filed an
exception of prescription, and on October 27, 2014, the trial
court granted the exception and dismissed the PCF action
against Dr. Rice. This court affirmed that judgment. In
Re: Professional Liability Claim of Suavely, 15-207
(La.App. 3 Cir. 11/4/15), 178 So.3d 614.
October 21, 2014, Ms. Snavely sought and obtained leave to
file an amended petition in the motorcycle action (docket no.
11-0381). Therein, she asserted medical malpractice and
wrongful death claims against the Rice Entities and Mr.
Singleton. Shortly after, the pending claims against the
minor driver and the insurer were dismissed following a
settlement. On February 9, 2015, Defendants asserted an
exception of prescription, which the trial court granted on
March 10, 2015, dismissing the medical malpractice and
wrongful death claims. This court affirmed. Snavely v.
Ace Pain Management, LLC, 15-684, 15-903 (La.App. 3 Cir.
2/3/16), 184 So.3d 871, writ denied, 16-425 (La.
4/22/16), 191 So.3d. 1049.
Snavely separately filed a third action on October 21, 2014,
also in the Fifteenth JDC, asserting medical malpractice
claims against the Rice Entities, as well as Rice Urgent Care
(hereinafter "the medical malpractice action"). The
medical malpractice action was assigned to Division A before
Judge Trahan and given docket number 14-5373. Defendants
filed a prescription exception on January 30, 2015, and the
trial court dismissed the action on prescription grounds on
March 18, 2015. This court affirmed. Snavely, 184
23, 2016, the Rice Entities and Mr. Singleton filed a motion
in the motorcycle action (docket no. 11-0381) seeking the
assessment of attorney fees as sanctions against Ms. Snavely
and/or her attorney, J. Lomax Jordan, arguing that Ms.
Snavely's attorney violated duties imposed by La.Code
Civ.P. art. 863 by signing and filing multiple petitions
alleging the same prescribed claim. Also on June 23, 2016,
the Rice Entities and Rice Urgent Care filed a motion to
assess attorney fees as sanctions in the medical malpractice
action (docket no. 14-5373). Similarly, Dr. Rice filed a
motion to assess attorney fees as sanctions in the PCF action
(docket number 14-3917) on June 27, 2016, and a hearing was
set for August 15, 2016.
25, 2016, in the motorcycle action (docket no. 11-0381), Ms.
Snavely filed a prescription exception, and other exceptions,
arguing that the sanctions motions were untimely as they were
filed after a final judgment had been rendered. She also
filed a motion seeking to consolidate the motorcycle action
with the PCF action and the medical malpractice action. Ms.
Snavely's motion to consolidate was heard August 29,
2016. Following the hearing, the trial court granted the
motion and signed an order consolidating the three matters.
The order also denied the sanctions motions filed in the
motorcycle action, the PCF action, and the medical
malpractice action, stating that there was no violation of
La. Code Civ.P. art. 863.
Dr. Rice, the Rice Entities, Rice Urgent Care, and Mr.
Singleton have filed appeals in connection with each of the
three trial court docket numbers, assigning as error the
trial court's consolidation and dismissal of the three
motions for sanctions. Those appeals have been ...