Morgan Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE
Adams Attorney at Law SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA LEGAL SERVICES
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT
composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods)
JENKINS, J., CONCURS IN THE RESULT
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2013-12179,
DIVISION "M-13" Honorable Paulette R. Irons, Judge
L. Belsome Judge
a tort case arising out of a motor vehicle accident. The
trial court found the Defendant driver, Kristyn Harris,
liable for the accident and awarded the Plaintiff, Dwayne
Levine, $87, 652.20 in damages. The Plaintiff and Defendant,
Allstate Insurance Company, appealed the trial court's
judgment. For the following reasons, we affirm.
OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
facts surrounding the accident are undisputed. Preceding this
accident, the Plaintiff was under an orthopedist's care
for a pre-existing ankle injury, which required two
surgeries. Subsequent to this accident, the Plaintiff
underwent a third surgery to his right ankle, wound
debridement and a skin graft.
Plaintiff later filed a Petition for Damages. After a bench
trial and the submission of post-trial briefs, the trial
court issued a judgment in favor of the
Plaintiff. In awarding damages, the trial court attributed
fifty percent of the need for the third surgery to the
subject accident; however, it did not award damages for the
skin graft. In total, the Plaintiff was awarded $87, 652.20:
$37, 652.20 in medical special damages and $50, 000.00 in
general damages. The Plaintiff and the Defendant filed
cross-appeals on causation and the resulting damages. The
Defendant does not challenge liability on appeal.
sole issue before this Court in the cross-appeals involves
the amount of damages awarded. In particular, the Defendant
argues that the Plaintiff's damages award should be
substantially reduced because he did not establish a causal
link between the third surgery and the instant accident;
while the Plaintiff argues that the award should be increased
because he established a causal link for fifty percent of the
third surgery and the skin graft.
is a factual issue." D'Angelo v. Guarino,
10-1555, p. 6 (La.App. 4 Cir. 3/9/12), 88 So.3d 683, 688.
"Although the Louisiana Constitution extends appellate
jurisdiction in civil cases to both law and facts, the
exercise of this power is limited by the jurisprudential rule
that factual determinations of the trier of fact will not be
set aside by a reviewing court unless they are manifestly
erroneous or clearly wrong." Brewer v. J.B. Hunt
Transp., Inc., 09-1408, p. 9 (La. 3/16/10), 35 So.3d
230, 237. "To reverse a factfinder's determination .
. . an appellate court must undertake a two-part inquiry: (1)
the court must find from the record that a reasonable factual
basis does not exist for the ...