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Brown v. Sargent

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

March 21, 2018

BRENDA BROWN, CLINTON STACKER, AND KEIOTIA BROWN, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF HER MINOR CHILDREN, DWAYNE BROWN, XYRIEL BROWN AND TREY' JON WATSON
v.
HOMER SARGENT, EVANS ENVIRONMENTAL AND GEOLOGICAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT, LLC, DISCOVERY PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE CO., ENTERPRISE LEASING CO.

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 20008-02048, DIVISION "E" Honorable Clare Jupiter, Judge

          Brenda Brown PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT/IN PROPER PERSON

          Donna Powe Green Brittany F. Mallion GREEN LAW FIRM, P.A. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE

          Court composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Paula A. Brown

          DANIEL L. DYSART JUDGE.

         Brenda Brown appeals the involuntary dismissal of her lawsuit by the trial court. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND:

         On February 25, 2007, the vehicle which Ms. Brown was driving was struck from behind by a vehicle being driven by Homer Sargent, as she was stopped at a red light on Bayou Road at N. Broad Street in New Orleans. Mr. Sargent was working for Evans Environmental and Geological Science and Management, LLC, [1]at the time of the accident. Both vehicles had been rented from Enterprise Car Rental.

         In her petition, Ms. Brown alleged that as a result of the accident, she sustained personal injuries that entitled her to damages for past, present and future physical pain and suffering, and past, present and future lost wages and earning capacity. She also sought damages for diminished quality of life and severe emotional and mental distress.

         After many years of litigation, this matter went to trial on June 20, 2016, with Ms. Brown representing herself. At the close of plaintiff's case, the defendants moved for an involuntary dismissal pursuant to La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 1672 B.[2] After a brief recess to allow the trial court to review Ms. Brown's evidence, the trial court allowed the parties to argue the merits of the motion for involuntary dismissal. The trial court granted the motion and gave oral reasons for its decision.

         Ms. Brown now appeals.

         DISCUSSION:

         In her sole assignment of error, Ms. Brown argues that the trial court erred in failing to find that she should be compensated under the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law, La. R.S. 32:851, et seq.

         The Louisiana Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law sets forth a mandatory, comprehensive scheme to provide financial protection to those involved in motor vehicle accidents. See Adams v. Thomas, 98-2003, 98-2005, pp. 3-4 (La.4/13/99), 729 So.2d 1041, 1043; Simms v. Butler, 97-0416, p. 2 (La.12/2/97), 702 So.2d 686, 687. The statutes require that the owner of every motor vehicle registered in this state, with limited exceptions, obtain proof of security prior to ...


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