Appealed from the Twentieth Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of West Feliciana State of Louisiana Suit
Number 22735 Honorable William G. Carmichael, Presiding
L. Maughan Zachary, LA Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant Martha
William C. Helm Stephen F. Butterfield Baton Rouge, LA
Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Progressive Paloverde
Phillip E. Foco Baton Rouge, LA Counsel for Intervenor
Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company
J. Haydel, Jr.Baton Rouge, LA Counsel for Defendant Shelter
Mutual Insurance Company
BEFORE: GUIDRY, PETTIGREW, AND CRAIN, JJ.
personal injury action, plaintiff, Martha Hinchcliffe,
appeals from a judgment of the trial court granting summary
judgment in favor of defendant, Progressive Paloverde
Insurance Company (Progressive), and dismissing her claims
against it with prejudice. For the reasons that follow, we
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Siaotong enrolled at Louisiana Safety and Driving Academy
(LSDA) to obtain additional driver training and experience.
Her driving instructor was Hinchcliffe, an employee of LSDA.
On August 8, 2015, Siaotong was driving a 2012 Nissan Versa
owned by LSDA and Hinchcliffe was riding in the passenger
seat. While driving in a southerly direction on U.S. Highway
61, in an area where the road was being resurfaced, Siaotong
lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. At the time of
the accident, LSDA had a commercial automobile insurance
policy with Progressive, and Siaotong had a personal
automobile insurance policy with Shelter Mutual Insurance
on August 4, 2016, Hinchcliffe filed a petition for damages,
naming Siaotong, Shelter, and Progressive as defendants and
asserting that she sustained serious and permanently
disabling injuries, including a broken leg and ankle,
multiple spine fractures, and soft tissue injuries.
Particularly, with regard to Progressive, Hinchcliffe
asserted that LSDA was the named insured under the
Progressive policy and that Siaotong was an insured under the
omnibus language in the Progressive policy. Hinchcliffe
further alleged that Progressive had denied coverage under an
employer liability exclusion in its policy, but that the
exclusion was not applicable to the instant case.
August 22, 2016, Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company
(Stonetrust), the worker's compensation carrier of LSDA,
filed a motion for leave to file a petition of intervention.
Stonetrust asserted that at the time of the accident,
Hinchcliffe was an employee of LSDA working in the course and
scope of her employment and that Stonetrust had paid and/or
would become obligated to pay medical expenses and indemnity
benefits to Hinchcliffe. The trial court granted Stonetrust
leave to file its petition of intervention on August 23,
2016, which Stonetrust subsequently filed, seeking
subrogation and reimbursement for worker's compensation
benefits paid or to be paid on behalf of Hinchcliffe.
Progressive filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting
that its policy of liability insurance issued to LSDA
excluded coverage for Hinchcliffe's loss on the ground
that the accident at issue and Hinchliffe's damages were
bodily injury to an employee of "any insured"
arising out of or within the course of that employee's
employment by any insured or performing duties related to the
conduct of any insured's business. Progressive attached a
copy of its insurance policy to its motion.
a hearing on Progressive's motion, the trial court signed
a judgment granting summary judgment in favor of Progressive
and dismissing Hinchliffe's claims against it ...