United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
MAGISTRATE Judge, HAYES
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court is a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
Motion to Dismiss (Record Document 22) filed by Defendant,
EAN Holdings, LLC (“EAN”), more popularly known
as Enterprise. EAN seeks dismissal on the grounds that
EAN's status as owner, self-insurer and alleged named
insured does not create a conduit for relief against EAN
under Louisiana law, specifically, Louisiana's Direct
Action Statute (“Direct Action Statute”), La.
Rev. Stat. § 22:1269.
Casualty Insurance Company (“LCTA”) filed a
Petition for Intervention (Record Document 65) with the
Court. The Court granted the Petition. See Record
Document 72. LCTA is the Plaintiff, Domenica Fusco's
(“Fusco”), employer, Trinity Home Health's
(“Trinity”) workers' compensation insurer. On
November 16, 2017, EAN filed a Second Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to
Dismiss LCTA (Record Document 82), asserting the same
arguments made in support of its first Motion to Dismiss.
LCTA filed an opposition and adopted all factual allegations
made by Fusco as well as the arguments contained in her
opposition to EAN's first Motion to Dismiss. For the
reasons set forth below, the Motions to Dismiss (Record
Documents 22 and 82) are DENIED.
September 30, 2015, Fusco was injured in an automobile
collision due to the alleged negligence of Defendant, Scott
Levine (“Levine”). See Record Document
1-3 at ¶¶ 2, 10. At the time of the collision,
Levine was operating 2014 Hyundai Elantra, a rental car that
was rented to him through a rental agreement between himself
and EAN or between his employer, Tait Towers Manufacturing,
LLC (“Tait Towers”) and EAN. See Id. at
¶¶ 2, 11, 12. Fusco was operating a 2013 Chevrolet
Cruz owned by Trinity. See id. at ¶ 4.
Subsequently, Fusco asserted claims against LCTA for
workers' compensation benefits and medical expenses
pursuant to the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act.
See Record Document 73. LCTA accepted the claim
since the accident arose out of and in the course of her
employment with Trinity. See id. LCTA has paid
weekly compensation and medical benefits to and/or on behalf
of Fusco and may or will be called to pay these benefits in
the future. See id.
August 30, 2016, Fusco filed a Petition for Damages in the
26th Judicial District Court. See Record Document
1-3. Originally, Fusco named as Defendants Levine, EAN
Holdings, LLC, Tait Towers, Inc., and Rock Solid Holdings,
LLC. See id. On October 18, 2016, the Defendants
filed a Notice of Removal (Record Document 1) with this Court
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, diversity jurisdiction. In
her Petition, Fusco alleges that as a result of said
accident, she suffered injuries. See id. at ¶
Fusco's First Supplemental and Amended Complaint (Record
Document 16), she added Tait Towers Manufacturing, LLC as a
party-defendant. In Fusco's Third Supplemental and
Amended Complaint (Record Document 40), she added Ace
American Insurance Company (“Ace”) and Zurich
American Insurance Company (“Zurich”) as party-
defendants. Subsequently, the Court granted the Joint
Stipulation and Motion for Partial Dismissal as to Tait
Towers, Inc. and Rock Solid Holdings, LLC. See
Record Document 42.
December 2, 2016, EAN filed Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.
See Record Document 22. EAN seeks dismissal on the
grounds that EAN's status as owner, self-insurer and
alleged named insured does not create a conduit for relief
against EAN under Louisiana law, specifically, the Direct
Action Statute, La. Rev. Stat. § 22:1269.
October 4, 2017, LCTA filed a Petition for Intervention
(Record Document 65) with the Court. The Court granted the
Petition. See Record Document 72. In response to
LCTA's Petition for Intervention, EAN filed a Rule
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss on the same grounds it asserted in
its first Motion to Dismiss. See Record Document 82.
LCTA adopted by reference Fusco's opposition memorandum
(Record Document 26) filed in response to the same Motion to
Dismiss previously filed against Fusco by EAN (Record
Document 22), including the factual allegations made therein.
See Record Document 92.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Pleading and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6)
8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the
requirements for pleadings that state a claim for relief,
requiring that a pleading contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The standard for the adequacy of complaints
under Rule 8(a)(2) is now a “plausibility”
standard found in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007), and its progeny. Under
this standard, “factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level ... on
the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are
true (even if doubtful in fact).” Id. at
555-56, 127 S.Ct. at 1965. If a pleading only contains
“labels and conclusions” and “a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” the
pleading does not meet the standards of Rule 8(a)(2).
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949 (2009) (citation omitted).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows parties to seek
dismissal of a party's pleading for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. However, courts must
accept all allegations in a complaint as true. See
id. at 678, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. “[T]he complaint
must contain either direct allegations on every material
point necessary to sustain a recovery ... or contain
allegations from which an inference fairly may be drawn that
evidence on these material points will be introduced at
trial.” Campbell v. City of San Antonio, 43
F.3d 973, 975 (5th Cir. 1995) (citation omitted).
“[C]onclusory allegations or legal conclusions
masquerading as factual conclusions will not suffice to
prevent a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 975
(quoting Fernandez-Montes v. Allied Pilots
Ass'n, 987 F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993)). Courts
considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) are only
obligated to allow those complaints that are facially
plausible under the Iqbal and Twombly
standard to survive such a motion. See id. at
678-79, 129 S.Ct. at 1949. If the complaint does not ...