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Causey v. New Orleans Regional Transit Authority

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

May 2, 2018

CHRISTOPHER CAUSEY, SR. AND LYNETTE MUSE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NATURAL PARENTS OF CHRISTOPHER CAUSEY, JR. AND PRISCILLA HOPKINS
v.
NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY AND VEOLIA TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2015-00534, DIVISION "J-5" HONORABLE Cherrell Sims Taplin, PRO TEMPORE

          JOHN PAUL MASSICOT, ATTORNEY AT LAW, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS

          MICHAEL J. HALL, JONIQUE MARTIN HALL, LAW OFFICE OF MICHAEL J. HALL, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES

          Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet

          JAMES F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE

         This appeal stems from a judgment rendered on July 17, 2017. For the reasons that follow, we find that the judgment lacks necessary decretal language, and is, therefore, not a final appealable judgment. Accordingly, this appeal is dismissed without prejudice and remanded to the trial court so that a proper final judgment can be rendered.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Plaintiffs, Christopher Causey Sr. and Lynette Muse, individually and as natural parents of Christopher Causey, Jr., and Priscilla Hopkins, filed suit against defendants, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority ("RTA"), and Veolia Transportation Services. Plaintiffs allege that they were injured as a result of a hard brake incident while riding as passengers on an RTA bus.

         A bench trial was conducted on July 13, 2017. Judgment was rendered in pertinent part, as follows:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED ADJUDGED AND DECREED that there be a Judgment herein in favor of the defendants and against the plaintiffs, in that, pursuant to Louisiana law, the plaintiffs have not established by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendants were negligent and liable for their injuries.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED ADJUDGED AND DECREED that this Judgment is final and that the parties each bear their own costs of these proceedings.
Plaintiffs filed a timely appeal from the trial court's judgment.

         JURISDICTIONAL ISSUE

         In Urquhart v. Spencer, 15-1354, pp. 3-4, (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/1/16), 204 So.3d 1074, 1077-78, this Court explained the requirements for ...


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