Appeal from the Nineteenth Judicial District Court In and for
the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Docket No.
C621493, Section 23 Honorable William A. Morvant, Judge
J. Woods, Jr. Addis, Louisiana Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant Eryon Luke.
Christine S. Keenan Melissa M. Samuel Baton Rouge, LA Counsel
for Defendant/ Appellees Traditions Senior Management, Inc.
and CPlace Forest Park SNF, LLC, d/ b/ a Nottingham Regional
BEFORE: McCLENDON, WELCH, AND THE RIOT, JJ.
seeks review of a trial court judgment sustaining the
appellee's peremptory exception raising the objection of
prescription. For the following reasons, we reverse.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
15, 2013, Eryon Luke (plaintiff) filed suit against her
former employer, CPlace Forest Park SNF, LLC, d/b/a
Nottingham Regional Rehab Center (Nottingham). She alleged,
among other things, that Nottingham terminated her due to her
pregnancy, in violation of both federal and state
Plaintiff also alleged that Nottingham violated LSA-R.S.
23:342(4), concerning unlawful employment practices, by
refusing to temporarily transfer her to a less strenuous or
hazardous position for the duration of her
pregnancy. Following removal to federal court and a
complex procedural history resulting in dismissal of
plaintiff's federal claims,  plaintiff's state law
claims were remanded to state district court on November 4,
November 28, 2016, plaintiff filed a Supplemental and Amended
Petition, seeking to add Traditions Senior Management, Inc.
(Traditions) as an additional defendant. Plaintiff alleged
that Traditions was also her employer and that both
Traditions and Nottingham had violated the Louisiana
Employment Discrimination Law ("LEDL") by failing
to accommodate plaintiff during her pregnancy. Plaintiff also
reiterated the prayer of her original petition and sought
judgment against the defendants jointly and in
January 10, 2017, Traditions filed a peremptory exception
raising the objection of prescription. Traditions noted that
claims brought under the LEDL were subject to a one-year
prescriptive period. See LSA-R.S. 23:303(D). Because
plaintiff had been terminated on May 24, 2012, Traditions
contended that plaintiff's claims against it prescribed
no later than May 24, 2013. As such, Traditions asserted that
plaintiff's amended petition filed on November 28, 2016
was untimely. In opposition, plaintiff asserted that her
claims against Traditions related back to the filing of the
original petition since Traditions was aware of
plaintiff's claims and of the underlying litigation,
given its close working relationship with Nottingham.
a hearing, the trial court sustained the exception raising
the objection of prescription and dismissed plaintiff's
claims against Traditions with prejudice. Plaintiff has
appealed, seeking review of the trial court's judgment
granting Traditions' exception of prescription.
general rule, prescription statutes "are strictly
construed against prescription and in favor of the obligation
sought to be extinguished." Taranto v.
Louisiana Citizens Property Ins. Corp.,
10-0105 (La. 3/15/11), 62 So.3d 721, 726. Ordinarily, the
party urging prescription bears the burden of proof at trial
of the exception; however, if the petition is prescribed on
its face, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show the
action is not prescribed. Taranto, 62 So.3d
that both the parties and the trial court focused on whether
plaintiff's amended petition adding Traditions as a
defendant related back to her timely filed petition against
Nottingham. See LSA-C.C.P. art. 1153. However, if Nottingham and
Traditions are either joint tortfeasors or solidary obligors
then a timely filed suit against one would interrupt
prescription against the other and the discussion of relation
back under LSA-C.C.P. art. 1153 would be moot See
McKenzie v. Imperial Fire and Cas. Ins.
Co., 12-1648 (La.App. 1 Cir. 7/30/13),
122 So.3d 42, 53 n.13 ("Once a plaintiff establishes
that a joint tortfeasor has been timely sued, consideration
of the concept of relating back under La. C.C.P. art. 1153 to