United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
RYAN HAYGOOD, DDS, ET AL.
BRIAN BEGUE, ET AL.
MAURICE HICKS, JR. MAGISTRATE, JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Attorney Fees (Record Document 189)
filed by Defendant H.O. Blackwood, D.D.S. (“Dr.
Blackwood”). Dr. Blackwood seeks to recover reasonable
attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b) and La. R.S.
51:1409(A). Plaintiffs Ryan Haygood, D.D.S. and Haygood
Dental Care, LLC (hereinafter referred to as “Dr.
Haygood” or the “Haygood Plaintiffs”)
opposed the motion. See Record Document 202. For the
reasons set forth below, the Motion for Attorney Fees is
March 2016, this Court granted Dr. Blackwood's Rule
12(b)(6) motion, dismissing the Haygood Plaintiffs'
Section 1983 claims as prescribed and holding that the
Sherman Act, state law defamation, and Louisiana Unfair Trade
Practices Act (“LUTPA”) claims failed under Rule
12(b)96) and the Twombly/Iqbal standard.
See Record Documents 182 & 183. All of the
claims against Dr. Blackwood were dismissed with prejudice.
See id. As to the Section 1983 claims, this Court
Dr. Haygood filed a state court claim against certain
defendants on September 27, 2011. See Record
Document 131, Exhibit A. Dr. Blackwood was not named as
a defendant in that original state petition. The factual
allegations in the state court petition are the same
allegations made in the instant federal lawsuit. On June 28,
2013, Dr. Haygood amended the state court petition for the
third time and named Dr. Blackwood as a defendant. See
id., Exhibit B. Dr. Haygood also sought, for the first
time in state court, damages for violations of Section 1983
in the Third Supplemental and Amended Petition for Damages.
Almost two years elapsed between the initial filing in state
court and the filing of the Third Supplemental and Amended
Petition for Damages, which added both Dr. Blackwood as a
defendant and Section 1983 claims. Likewise, almost two years
elapsed between the filing of the initial proceeding in state
court in September 2011 and the filing of the federal lawsuit
in February 2013. This Court holds that the Haygood
Plaintiffs clearly knew, or should have known, of the overt
acts which might constitute a Section 1983 violation when the
state court lawsuit was filed in September 2011. The Court is
also unconvinced that any of the allegations in the state
court petition were sufficient to interrupt prescription.
See Ford v. Stone, 599 F.Supp. 693 (M.D. La. 1984).
Therefore, this Court finds that the alleged wrongdoing under
Section 1983 by the instant Defendant has prescribed under
Dr. Haygood received notice of the revocation of his license
on or about November 8, 2010. . . . Therefore, the §
1983 claims against Defendants had already prescribed when
the federal suit was filed on February 13, 2013.
The Court additionally notes that even if this action was not
prescribed, the Rule 12(b)(6) Motion filed by Dr. Blackwood
nonetheless would be granted because the bald conclusory
allegations that he was involved in a conspiracy with the
Dental Board fails the plausibility standard established in
Twombly and Iqbal. See Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
129 S.Ct. 1937.
Document 182 at 7-9. This Court dismissed the LUTPA claims,
Here, the factual allegations made against Dr. Blackwood,
i.e., his deeply negative personal and professional
predisposition toward Dr. Haygood; his strong influence with
the Dental Board; encouraging others to take action against
Dr. Haygood, fail to rise to the level of facts necessary to
support a claim under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices
Id. at 15.
Blackwood argues he is the prevailing party with respect to
the Section 1983 claims and the LUPTA claims; thus, he
maintains he is entitled to reasonable attorney fees under
Section 1988(b) and Section 1409, “as the [Section]
1983 and LUPTA claims against him were frivolous and brought