United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
filed by defendants Remington Arms Company, LLC
(“Remington”), Sporting Good Properties, Inc.
(“SGP”), and E.I. du Pont De Nemours & Co.
(“DuPont”). For the following reasons, the motion
is granted in part and denied in part.
December 21, 2016, plaintiff Riley Rivers
(“Rivers”) was handling a Remington 700 rifle
equipped with an X-Mark Pro (“XMP”) trigger, when
the rifle allegedly discharged despite the safety mechanism
being engaged. The shot caused serious injury to
December 12, 2017, Rivers filed the present lawsuit asserting
claims under the Louisiana Products Liability
(“LPLA”) and the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices
(“LUTPA”). The complaint also makes passing
references to fraudand civil conspiracy.
respect to the LPLA, Rivers alleges design
defect, manufacturing defect,inadequate
warning, and express warranty claims. Under the
LUTPA, Rivers claims that Remington, SGP, and DuPont
suppressed information regarding the alleged defects and
failed to widely publicize said information, creating danger
to the rifles’ users. Rivers’ LUTPA claim
includes a demand for treble damages and attorney’s
SGP, and DuPont now move to dismiss all of Rivers’
claims against them. They argue that Rivers’ LUTPA
claim, as well as any claim he may have asserted for fraud
and civil conspiracy, are barred by the LPLA’s
exclusivity provision. They further maintain that Rivers has
failed to sufficiently plead a claim under the LPLA.
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
district court to dismiss a complaint, or any part of it,
when a plaintiff has not set forth well-pleaded factual
allegations that would entitle him to relief. See Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007);
Cuvillier v. Taylor, 503 F.3d 397, 401 (5th Cir.
2007). A plaintiff’s factual allegations must
“raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. In other
words, a complaint “must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570)).
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a court limits its review
“to the complaint, any documents attached to the
complaint, and any documents attached to the motion to
dismiss that are central to the claim and referenced by the
complaint.” Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P. v.
Barclays Bank PLC, 594 F.3d 383, 387 (5th Cir. 2010);
see also Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d 772, 774 (5th
Cir. 1999). In assessing the complaint, the Court must accept
all well-pleaded factual allegations as true and liberally
construe all such allegations in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff. Spivey, 197 F.3d at 774; Lowrey
v. Tex. A&M Univ. Sys., 117 F.3d 242, 247 (5th Cir.
1997). Where “the complaint ‘on its face show[s]
a bar to relief,’” then dismissal is the
appropriate course. Cutrer v. McMillan, 308 Fed.
App’x. 819, 820 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting Clark v.
Amoco Prod. Co., 794 F.2d 967, 970 (5th Cir. 1986)).
LPLA “establishes the exclusive theories of liability
for manufacturers for damages caused by their
products.” La. Rev. Stat. § 9:2800.52.
Consequently, a plaintiff “may not recover from a
manufacturer for damage caused by a product on the basis of
any theory of liability that is not set forth” in the
LPLA. Id. This exclusivity “is
well-established in both the statute and its attendant case
law.” Bracey v. C.B. Fleet Holding Co., Inc.,
No. 6-3238, 2006 WL 3733808, at *2 (E.D. La. Dec. 15, 2006)
(Africk, J.); see also Jefferson v. Lead Indus.
Ass’n, Inc., 106 F.3d 1245, 1248 (5th Cir. 1997)
(“Louisiana law eschews all theories of recovery in
this case except those explicitly set forth in the
claims under the LUTPA and any claims for fraud and civil
conspiracy, therefore, must be dismissed. See Pramann v.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 16-12413, 2017 WL
58469, *2 (E.D. La. Jan. 5, 2017) (Africk, J.) (dismissing
all claims outside of the LPLA); Bracey, 2006 WL
3733808, at *2 (rejecting as “unpersuasive”
plaintiffs’ arguments that, because the LUTPA offers
remedies distinct from those available under the LPLA, LUTPA
claims should be allowed to proceed alongside LPLA claims);
Ingram v. Bayer Corp., No. 2-352, 2002 WL 1163613,
at *2 (E.D. La. May 30, 2002) (Porteous, J.)
(“Plaintiff’s causes of action . . . are limited
to those expressly available under the LPLA. The LPLA does
not allow the plaintiff to recover for negligence, gross
negligence, strict liability, fraud, misrepresentation,
concealment, conspiracy, suppression and willful, wanton and
reckless conduct against [a defendant].”).
Rivers’ claims for punitive damages and
attorney’s fees must fail. See Cantu v. C.B. Fleet
Holding Co., Inc., No. 6-2168, 2007 WL 689566, at *2
(W.D. La. Mar. 1, 2007) (Minaldi, J.) (“The LUTPA is
penal in nature in that it allows the recovery of treble
damages and attorney’s fees. Punitive damages are not
recoverable under the LPLA.”); see also Amer.
Homes. Assur. Co. v. Oceaneering Int’l, Inc., 609
Fed. App’x 171, 174 (5th Cir. 2015) (noting that the
LPLA “explicitly prohibits the recovery of
attorney’s fees”); La. Rev. Stat. §
9:2800.53(5) (“Attorneys’ fees are not
recoverable under this Chapter.”).
only remaining claims fall under the LPLA. Remington, SGP,
and DuPont argue that these claims should also be dismissed,
because Rivers’ allegations are ...