Appeal from the Twenty-First Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Tangipahoa State of Louisiana No.
2016-001876 The Honorable Jeffery S. Johnson, Judge Presiding
Cassandra Butler Independence, LA Attorney for Plaintiff/
Appellant Jackie Holden
A. Crist Metairie, LA Attorney for Defendants/ Appellees
Mike's Catfish Inn, Inc. and Massachusetts Bay Insurance
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.
plaintiff, Jackie Holden, appeals a summary judgment
dismissing her tort claim against her employer, Mike's
Catfish Inn, Inc., and its insurer, Massachusetts Bay
Insurance Company. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
14, 2015, Ms. Holden, an employee of Mike's Catfish Inn,
was clocked in and working in the kitchen, when she was
notified by another employee that her daughter called the
restaurant and was waiting outside in the parking lot to see
her. Mike's Catfish Inn permitted its employees to take
breaks while on the time clock. Ms. Holden's daughter
parked her car within feet of the back door of the
restaurant. As Ms. Holden exited the back door of the
restaurant and proceeded toward her daughter's vehicle,
she fell on a concrete slope adjacent to the restaurant door
and injured herself. Ms. Holden reported the accident to her
employer before leaving for the emergency room. Ms. Holden
was admitted to the emergency room at Lallie Kemp Regional
Medical Center and was diagnosed with a broken left kneecap.
Ms. Holden was discharged from the emergency room that night,
but was advised that she needed surgery. Approximately
fifteen days later, Ms. Holden had surgery on her left
kneecap at Cypress Pointe Hospital.
8, 2016, Ms. Holden filed a petition for damages against
defendants alleging that her injuries were caused by
the negligence of Mike's Catfish Inn in failing to remove
the foreign substance on the step which caused her to fall.
Defendants answered the petition denying all allegations and
asserted that Ms. Holden was in the course and scope of her
employment at the time of the accident and that her exclusive
remedy was in accordance with the Louisiana's
Workers' Compensation Act, La. R.S. 23:1032. On February
6, 2017, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment
alleging that there remained no genuine issues of material
fact and that they were entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Defendants submitted a statement of uncontested material
facts which provided that Massachusetts Bay Insurance Company
was the commercial general liability insurer for Mike's
Catfish Inn at the time of Ms. Holden's accident and it
did not provide workers compensation coverage. It further
stated that Ms. Holden was paid workers' compensation
benefits in a settlement in the amount of $10, 000.00 as a
result of the July 14, 2015 accident.
hearing on defendants' motion for summary judgment, the
trial court found that the accident occurred during the
course and scope of Ms. Holden's employment, stating in
oral reasons "Mike's Catfish [Inn] is [not]
individually liable ... that is what they have worker's
comp[ensation] for." The trial court signed a judgment
in accordance with its ruling on April 3, 2017, dismissing
Ms. Holden's claims against defendants with prejudice.
Ms. Holden appeals.
sole assignment of error, Ms. Holden argues that the trial
court erred in granting defendants' motion for summary
judgment because there remains a genuine issue of material
fact as to whether she was in the course and scope of her
employment when the accident occurred.
judgments are reviewed de novo under the same
criteria that govern the district court's consideration
of whether summary judgment is appropriate. Marcaurele v.
City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge, 16-0915
(La.App. 1 Cir. 2/17/17), 214 So.3d 968, 971, writ
denied, 17-0464 (La. 5/1/17), 221 So.3d 72. A motion for
summary judgment shall be granted if the motion, memorandum,
and supporting documents show that there is no genuine issue
of material fact and that the mover is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law. La. C.C.P. art. 966(A)(3). The initial
burden of proof is on the mover. If the moving party will not
bear the burden of proof at trial, the movant's burden on
the motion does not require him to negate all essential
elements of the adverse party's claim, action, or
defense, but rather to point out that there is an absence of
factual support for one or more elements essential to the
adverse party's claim, action, or defense. Thereafter,
the nonmoving party must produce factual support sufficient
to establish that he will be able to satisfy his evidentiary
burden at trial. If the nonmoving party fails to make this
requisite showing, there is no genuine issue of material
fact, and summary judgment should be granted. La. C.C.P. art.
when an employee seeks to recover from her employer for
injuries suffered during the course and scope of employment,
recovery is limited in accordance with the Louisiana
Workers' Compensation Act, which provides for the
employee's exclusive rights and remedies against the
employer for such injury and provides immunity from civil
liability in favor of an employer. La. R.S. 23:1032; see
Cole v. State Department of Public Safety &
Corrections, 01-2123 (La. 9/4/02), 825 So.2d 1134, 1138.
Under the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act, employers
are responsible for compensation benefits ...