FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ACADIA,
NO. 2009-10517 HONORABLE JULES D. EDWARDS, DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeffery F. Speer George A. Wright Doucet - Speer, APLC
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Kayla Carpenter Alexis
Jackson B. Bolinger Leah B. Guilbeau & Associates COUNSEL
FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co.
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, John D. Saunders, and Candyce G.
CANDYCE G. PERRET, JUDGE.
an appeal from a summary judgment dismissing the suit of
plaintiff-appellant, Kayla Carpenter, on behalf of her
daughter, Alexis Walters, against the sole remaining
defendant-appellee, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
Company ("State Farm"). For the following reasons,
we affirm the judgment.
litigation involves a claim for the alleged wrongful death of
Sanchez J. Walters ("Mr. Walters") brought by Kayla
Carpenter on behalf of her minor daughter, Alexis Walters
(hereinafter, "Ms. Carpenter"). Ms. Carpenter
alleged in her petition that on June 29, 2008, Mr. Walters
was a passenger in a 2006 Toyota Scion when he was involved
in a one-car accident and suffered fatal injuries. The other
occupants in the vehicle at the time of the accident were
Kylor Broussard and Nicholas Ledet. Although the driver of
the vehicle has yet to be determined, the petition alleged
that the 2006 Toyota Scion was owned by Randall Leger
("Mr. Leger") and that the accident was caused
solely through the fault or negligent entrustment of Mr.
Leger, Kylor Broussard, and/or Jon and Jane Ledet on behalf
of their minor son, Nicholas Ledet (collectively, "the
8, 2016, Ms. Carpenter dismissed defendants Kylor Broussard
and the Ledets, but reserved her right to proceed against
State Farm for insurance coverage. Thereafter, on November 7,
2016, the trial court granted a summary judgment in favor of
defendant Mr. Leger, dismissing all of Ms. Carpenter's
claims against him with prejudice. Ms. Carpenter did not
appeal this partial final judgment.
December 2, 2016, State Farm filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment, arguing that there is no liability coverage under
its policy because Ms. Carpenter is unable to prove which
occupant of the car was driving and that, regardless of who
was driving, neither Mr. or Mrs. Leger, nor their son,
Nicholas Leger, gave permission, express or implied, to
anyone to use the 2006 Toyota Scion on the night of the
accident. In support of its Motion for Summary Judgment,
State Farm attached: (1) the affidavit of Mr. Leger; (2) the
affidavit of Shelley Leger; (3) the affidavit of Nicholas
Leger; and (4) a copy of the State Farm policy at issue.
Ms. Carpenter did not offer or file any exhibits into the
record in opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment, she
filed a memorandum arguing that the deposition of Kylor
Broussard and the police statement of Regina Bell suggest
that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding who
was driving the vehicle and whether the driver had the
implied permission to do so.
a hearing, the trial court rendered the February 21, 2017
judgment in favor of State Farm. Ms. Carpenter now appeals
this final judgment.
appellate court reviews a trial court's granting of a
motion for summary judgment de novo. Duncan v. U.S.A.A.
Ins. Co., 06-363 (La. 11/29/06), 950 So.2d 544. Under
this standard of review, the appellate court uses the same
criteria as the trial court in determining if summary
judgment is appropriate: whether there is a genuine ...