Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court '
In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana
Trial Court Docket Number 625, 220, Sec. 22 Honorable Timothy
E. Kelley, Judge Presiding
R. Koerner, Jr. New Orleans, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant, Patricia Ashley Bowen
Matthew D. Fontenot Lafayette, Louisiana Counsel for
Intervenor/Appellant, Sentry Insurance Company, A Mutual
Landry Attorney General Andrew Blanchfield C. Reynolds
LeBlanc Special Assistant Attorney Generals Baton Rouge,
Louisiana Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, State of Louisiana,
The Board of Supervisors, Louisiana State University
Agricultural and Mechanical College and Earl K. Long Medical
C. Gaudin Scott O. Gaspard Metairie, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendants/Appellees, Stratos Elevator Company and Starnet
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, HOLDRIDGE, AND PENZATO, JJ.
an appeal from a trial court judgment granting a motion for
summary judgment in favor of the defendants/appellees. For
the reasons that follow, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Bowen filed this lawsuit on October 9, 2013, against the
State of Louisiana, and the Board of Supervisors, Louisiana
State University Agricultural and Mechanical College, and
Earl K. Long Medical Center (collectively, "EKL")
for injuries she sustained exiting an elevator located at
Earl K. Long Medical Center. Also named as defendants were
Stratos Elevator, Inc., which had a contract to provide
maintenance services for the elevators at Earl K. Long
Medical Center, and its insurer, StarNet Insurance Company
(collectively, "Stratos"). According to Ms. Bowen,
on October 10, 2012, the elevator dropped and then abruptly
went up as she exited, causing her to be violently flung into
the adjacent wall, causing serious injury. Ms. Bowen alleged
that the defendants were negligent by not performing proper
maintenance and/or maintaining preventative maintenance on
the elevators at Earl K. Long Medical Center, and by not
providing her with a safe environment. Ms. Bowen further
alleged that at the time of the incident, she was performing
her work duties for Amerigroup Corporation. In its capacity
as the workers' compensation insurer that paid Ms. Bowen
benefits as a result of the accident, Sentry Insurance, A
Mutual Company ("Sentry"), filed *a petition for
intervention on November 20, 2013.
3, 2015, EKL filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging
that Ms. Bowen could not prove that EKL had prior notice of
an alleged elevator defect, that the alleged defect presented
an unreasonable risk of harm, and that EKL acted
unreasonably. Stratos also filed a motion for summary
judgment, alleging that Ms. Bowen had no evidence of an
alleged elevator defect causing injury and no evidence that
Stratos knew, or should have known, 6f any alleged
a number of continuances to allow plaintiff to conduct
discovery, the motions came for hearing on February 21, 2017.
The trial court granted both motions for summary judgment.
With regard to Stratos, the trial court found that there was
no evidence of custody or control of the elevator, and no
evidence of prior notice/of a defect. With regard to EKL, the
trial court found that "while there might be a genuine
issue of material fact regarding whether or not there is a
defect, " there was no evidence of prior notice. The
trial court signed a judgment in accordance with that ruling
on March 8, 2017, granting both motions for summary judgment
and dismissing plaintiff's claims with prejudice. Ms.
Bowen and Sentry now appeal.
alleged that the trial court erred in finding that there was
no notice of a hazardous condition to EKL or Stratos, and in
finding that there was no "garde" by Stratos. Ms.
Bowen alleged that the trial court erred in: (1) granting
EKL's motion for summary judgment despite its failure to
comply with pending discovery; (2) granting EKL's motion
for summary judgment despite its failure to preserve
evidence; (3) granting summary judgment despite two expert
affidavits and other ...