SARAH BARBER, ET AL.
LOUISIANA MUNICIPAL RISK MANAGEMENT AGENCY GROUP SELF-INSURED FUND, ET AL.
FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO.
251, 753 HONORABLE GEORGE CLARENCE METOYER JR, DISTRICT JUDGE
Landry Attorney General Robert L. Bussey Lewis O. Lauve, Jr.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: State of Louisiana
B. Williams Joshua Dierker McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo,
Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Estate of Larry Jeane, Sr.
Derrick G. Earles David C. Laborde Jeff D. Easley Laborde
Earles Law Firm, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLEES: Sarah
Barber Jamie Turner Racheal Spivey Jamie Turner, o/b/o
Abbigail Turner Elizabeth Spivey Dana Spivey Wallace Spivey
composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, and D.
Kent Savoie, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION, JUDGE.
tort case, Appellants, The Estate of Larry Jeane, Sr.,
Republic Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, and the State
of Louisiana, appeal a partial summary judgment on the issue
of liability in favor of Appellees. For the reasons that
follow, we reverse in part and affirm in part.
matter was initiated by the filing of a petition for damages
concerning a motor vehicle accident that occurred on July 18,
2014, when the vehicle driven by then-Pineville City Marshal,
Larry Jeane, Sr., crossed the center line of Louisiana
Highway 107 and struck the vehicle occupied by Appellees,
Sarah Barber; Jamie Turner; Racheal Spivey; the minor,
Abbigail Turner; Elizabeth Spivey; Dana Spivey; and Wallace
Spivey. As a result of this collision, the occupants assert
that they sustained injuries.
filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of
Mr. Jeane's liability and asserting that they were free
from fault. In support of their motion, Appellees submitted
the affidavit of Ms. Sandra Shannon, who was operating the
vehicle immediately in front of the Appellees' vehicle
and witnessed the collision. In her affidavit, Ms. Shannon
also attested to the fact that she gave a recorded statement
to Pineville police officers and to the fact that a true and
correct transcript of the statement was attached to her
affidavit. Appellee Sarah Barber's affidavit was also
attached. Appellees also attached the deposition of current
Pineville City Marshal, Sarah A. Smith.
Shannon's affidavit stated that on July 18, 2014, she was
driving northbound on Highway 107 at approximately forty-five
miles per hour when she saw a southbound pickup truck enter
her lane. Ms. Shannon avoided being hit, but saw, in her
rearview mirror, the vehicle behind her collide with the
truck. In her recorded statement, Ms. Shannon stated, "I
had plenty of time to get over but I looked as he came closer
and I could see he was slumped over." The movement of
the truck into her lane was described by Ms. Shannon as
"veering gently." She stated that there may have
been another vehicle between her and the one hit by the
Barber attested that she was driving north on highway 107
when "suddenly, without any prior warning, she saw the
vehicle in front of her swerve onto the shoulder." She
then saw a pickup truck traveling south in the northbound
lane. She attempted to get as far over as she could but was
unable to avoid the collision. The next thing she could
recall was being extricated from the vehicle by emergency
personnel using the "jaws-of-life."
Smith testified that she was not present at the scene until
she was notified by Mr. Michael Gates of the Marshal's
office that Mr. Jeane had been involved in an accident. She
went to the scene, where she found Mr. Jeane already loaded
into an ambulance. She rode in the ambulance with Mr. Jeane
to the hospital. Mr. Jeane told her that he did not know what
had happened. After the accident, Marshal Smith checked Mr.
Jeane's cell phone records.
filing their motion, Appellees supplemented the motion
through the filing of a supplemental memorandum. The
certified records of Rapides Regional Medical Center (RRMC)
regarding Mr. Jeane's treatment were introduced. The
physician who primarily attended to Mr. Jeane's care at
RRMC, Dr. Jeremy Timmer, noted that Mr. Jeane was "on
the phone with a friend, possible low blood sugar, the
patient was talking funny on the phone, was the driver, and
collided with another vehicle." Mr. Jeane had a long
history of heart ...