Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bayou Orthotic and Prosthetics Center, LLC v. Morris Bart, LLC

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

March 28, 2018

BAYOU ORTHOTIC AND PROSTHETICS CENTER, L.L.C.
v.
MORRIS BART, L.L.C.

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 767-888, DIVISION "M" HONORABLE HENRY G. SULLIVAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, BAYOU ORTHOTIC AND PROSTHETICS CENTER, L.L.C. Joseph F. Lahatte, III

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, MORRIS BART, L.L.C. Andrew A. Braun Victoria E. Emmerling

          Panel composed of Judges Jude G. Gravois, Marc E. Johnson, and Marion F. Edwards, Judge Pro Tempore

          G. GRAVOIS JUDGE

         Plaintiff/appellant, Bayou Orthotic and Prosthetics Center, L.L.C. ("Bayou"), appeals a trial court judgment which granted an exception of prematurity filed by defendant/appellee, Morris Bart, L.L.C. ("Bart"), and dismissed the case. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Bayou owns and operates a medical specialty business that provides medical prosthetics and related services and equipment. In 2006, Bayou provided Leroy Davis with an above-the-knee prosthesis after he had been injured in an accident in Orleans Parish on February 5, 2006. On September 19, 2006, Bart sent a letter to Bayou stating that it was representing Mr. Davis for injuries he sustained in said accident and it was requesting a copy of Mr. Davis's medical records. On January 4, 2007, Bart sent another letter to Bayou stating that it would protect Bayou's medical charges in the amount of $29, 124.76 for the fitting of Mr. Davis's prosthesis, as outlined in an October 20, 2006 invoice, "out of any net settlement or proceeds obtained during this firm's representation in this matter as a result of any claims for damages" arising out of Mr. Davis's February 5, 2006 accident.[1] On January 11, 2007, Bart sent a similar letter to Bayou, again assuring Bayou that it would protect the $29, 124.76 "out of any net settlement or proceeds obtained during this firm's representation in this matter as a result of any claims for damages" arising out of Mr. Davis's accident. Bayou continued to treat Mr. Davis for almost ten years thereafter for a number of services valued by Bayou at $125, 923.40.

          On January 4, 2017, Bayou filed a Petition for Damages against Bart, claiming that it had not been paid any amount from Bart on Mr. Davis's outstanding balance for services rendered, despite assurances of payment having been made by Bart, both by letters and orally.[2] In its petition, Bayou alleged that it had never agreed to an arrangement with Bart to operate on a "lien basis, " nor to only be paid out of a settlement. Bayou argued that it was a specialty provider that did not operate in that manner. The petition made several claims against Bart, including detrimental reliance, breach of contract, negligence, and "promissory and equitable estoppel." Bayou prayed that it be compensated for the full value of all medical services it provided to Mr. Davis, "allowable" interest on the balance of Mr. Davis's account, and reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

         In response to the petition, Bart filed various exceptions, including an exception of prematurity in which Bart argued that Bayou's claims were premature since its obligation to make payment to Bayou was dependent upon the occurrence of a suspensive condition-the payment to Bart of settlement proceeds-which had not yet occurred.[3] In its memorandum in support of its exceptions, Bart acknowledged that through its January 4, 2007 and January 11, 2007 letters, it guaranteed payment to Bayou of $29, 124.76 out of any net settlement or proceeds obtained during its representation of Mr. Davis. Bart further provided that on December 7, 2009, a settlement in the amount of $1, 890, 872.00 had been reached in Mr. Davis's personal injury case, and a stipulated judgment in the settlement amount had been rendered against the City of New Orleans on that date; however, to date, the City had not appropriated the funds to pay the judgment, and thus, no settlement proceeds had been obtained. Bart argued that since the obligation to pay the medical expenses was predicated upon the receipt of proceeds through settlement or judgment, which had not yet occurred, Bayou's suit was premature.

         In opposition to the exception, Bayou argued that the agreement between the parties was based on a term, not on a suspensive condition, and accordingly, payment had to be made within a reasonable time. Bayou argued that Bart did not perform as agreed to at the time of the settlement, nor did it perform within a reasonable time after the settlement. Alternatively, Bayou argued that the term and/or condition is not based upon when Bart received the settlement or proceeds, but rather when Bart obtained a settlement or proceeds. Since Bart obtained the settlement on December 7, 2009, Bayou argued that the term had expired and/or the condition had occurred and was therefore enforceable.

         The trial court conducted a hearing on the exceptions on May 24, 2017. At the end of the hearing, the trial judge orally sustained the exception of prematurity and dismissed the case. A written judgment to this effect was signed on May 31, 2017.[4]

         On appeal, Bayou assigns the following errors, to-wit:

1. The claims brought against Bart are not premature; the case needs a full trial based on the positions of both parties regarding the responsibility of payment.
2. The existence of a mandate would not preclude Bart from being ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.