RYAN M. MARTINEZ
TREVOR M. WILSON, CHEVY'S INC., ABC INSURANCE COMPANY AND DEF INSURANCE COMPANY
Appealed from the Twenty-First Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Tangipahoa State of Louisiana Suit Number
2008-0000664 Honorable Charlotte H. Foster, Presiding
A. Lea, Jr. Covington, LA Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee Ryan
Dillon Jesse P. Lagarde Hammond LA, Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant Trevor M. Wilson
BEFORE: GUIDRY, PETTIGREW, AND CRAIN, JJ.
personal injury action, defendant, Trevor Wilson, appeals
from a judgment of the trial court awarding plaintiff, Ryan
Martinez, damages in the amount of $35, 128.66. For the
reasons that follow, we dismiss the appeal.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
October 12, 2007, Martinez was a patron at Chevy's, Inc.
(Chevy's). While attempting to break up a fight between
his friend, Christopher Forvendel, and Wilson, Martinez was
struck in the face. Thereafter, on February 29, 2008,
Martinez filed a petition for damages, naming Wilson,
Chevy's, and their respective insurers as defendants.
Martinez alleged that Wilson punched him in the left cheek,
resulting in a mandible fracture, which required his jaw to
be wired shut for approximately eight weeks and resulted in
him losing thirty pounds, rendered him unable to eat solid
foods, prevented him from speaking, prevented him from
working, and forced him to drop two classes in which he was
enrolled as a student. Martinez asserted that Wilson was
liable for battery, entitling him to damages, including
without limitation, present and future medical expenses, loss
of income, and mental pain and suffering.
counsel for Martinez filed a motion for preliminary default,
which the trial court granted on May 27, 2008. Following a
hearing to confirm the default judgment, the trial court
signed a judgment in favor of Martinez, awarding him special
and general damages. Wilson appealed the trial court's
judgment to this court, and we vacated the judgment, finding
that Martinez had failed to produce sufficient evidence to
establish a prima facie case, and remanded the matter to the
trial court for further proceedings. Martinez v.
Wilson, 15-0384, pp. 6-7 (La.App. 1st Cir. 12/17/15),
185 So.3d 65, 69.
January 4, 2016, Wilson filed an answer to Martinez's
petition, denying the allegations and raising affirmative
defenses, including self-defense, failure to mitigate
damages, and comparative fault of Martinez, Forvendel, and
Chevy's. Following a one-day bench trial, the trial court
signed a judgment on January 12, 2017, in favor of Martinez
and against Wilson, finding Wilson was an intentional
tortfeasor pursuant to La. C.C. art. 2323, and awarding
damages (special and general) to Martinez in the amount of
$35, 128.66, subject to a credit for any restitution
previously paid. In reasons for judgment issued on January
31, 2017, the trial court noted that its reference to La.
C.C. art. 2323 was in error, and found Wilson to be 100
percent at fault. On the same date, the trial court signed an
amended judgment, finding in favor of Martinez and against
Wilson and again awarding damages (special and general) to
Martinez in the amount of $35, 128.66.
Wilson filed a motion and order of appeal from the trial
court's January 12, 2017 judgment. On appeal, Wilson
asserts that the trial court erred: by failing to find
Martinez committed an intentional tort; in failing to
apportion fault to Martinez and other actors; in failing to
find Wilson acted in self-defense; and in awarding damages in
the amount of $35, 128.66.
courts have a duty to examine subject matter jurisdiction
sua sponte, even when the parties do not raise the
issue. Texas Gas Exploration Corp. v. Lafourche Realty
Co., Inc., 11-0520, p. 8 (La.App. 1st Cir. 11/9/11), 79
So.3d 1054, 1059, writ denied, 12-0360 (La. 4/9/12),
85 So.3d 698. This court's appellate jurisdiction extends
to "final judgments." La. C.C.P. arts. 1918 and
2083; Ball v. Heritage Manor of Mandeville, 06-1379,
p. 1 (La.App. 1st Cir. 5/4/07), 961 So.2d 414, 415;
Carter v. Williamson Eve Center, 01-2016, p. 3
(La.App. 1st Cir. 11/27/02), 837 So.2d 43, 44. A final
judgment must contain decretal language. Bali, 06-1379 at p.
1, 961 So.2d at 415. Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure
article 1918 states that "[a] final judgment shall be
identified as such by appropriate language." It is well
settled that a final judgment must be precise, definite, and
certain. La. C.C.P. art. 1918 and Official Revision Comment
(a); Laird v. St. Tammany Parish Safe Harbor,
02-0045, p. 2 (La.App. 1st Cir. 12/20/02), 836 So.2d 364,
365. Generally, a final judgment must name the party in favor
of whom the ruling is ordered, the party against whom the
ruling is ordered, and the relief that is granted or denied.
Gaten v. Tangipahoa Parish School System, 11-1133,
p. 3 (La.App. 1st Cir. 3/23/12), 91 So.3d 1073, 1074. The
amount of the recovery awarded by a judgment must be stated
in the judgment with certainty and precision, so that a third
person is able to determine from the judgment the party cast
and the amount owed without reference to other documents in
the record or extrinsic sources. See Vanderbrook v.
Coachmen Industries, Inc., 01-0809, pp. 11-12 (La.App.
1st Cir. 5/10/02), 818 So.2d 906, 913-914.
judgment at issue in the instant case awards damages in the
amount of $35, 128.66, subject to a "credit for any
restitution ... previously paid ... in connection with this
matter." Because the amount of the credit is not
apparent from a reading of the judgment, and requires
reference to extrinsic sources, the amount of damages is not
stated with certainty and precision, and the judgment is not
a valid, final judgment. As such, ...