OLIVER BARNETT, ET AL. Plaintiffs-Appellants
LOUISIANA MEDICAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY D/B/A LAMMICO Defendant-Appellee
Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 589, 640 Honorable
Ramon Lafitte, Judge
& HAMMONS, ALC By: John L. Hammons William W. Murray, Jr.
A. Cornell Flournoy Counsel for Appellants
& TOWNSEND By: William L. Townsend, III Kennan K. Kelly
MILLING BENSON WOODWARD, LLP By: Normand F. Pizza Chadwick W.
Collings Andrew R. Capitelli Thomas S. Schneidau Counsel for
BROWN, MOORE, and PITMAN, JJ.
approximately 243 persons (divided into two groups of
claimants) who have settled their medical malpractice claims
against a qualified health care provider, his insurer,
LAMMICO, and the Patients' Compensation Fund
("PCF"), have appealed from the trial court's
judgment which granted LAMMICO's exception of res
judicata and dismissed Plaintiffs' action for
penalties and damages pursuant to La. R.S. 22:1892 and La.
R.S. 22:1973 for the insurer's alleged failure to pay
insurance settlement proceeds within 30 days of their written
settlement agreement. For the reasons set forth below, we
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
document entitled "Settlement Agreement" which
expressed, inter alia, the parties' intent to
terminate the original malpractice litigation by a group
settlement or "any other reasonably agreed upon
settlement process as contemplated herein, " was
perfected on December 2, 2014, with an effective date of
December 3, 2014. All parties signed the Settlement Agreement
on or before the effective date. The following are some of
the terms of this agreement:
(1) LAMMICO and the PCF are to jointly fund a $4.5 million
"Group A" settlement fund and an $8 million
"Group B" settlement fund as part of the process.
(2) The allocation of the settlement funds among the
claimants and others is to be made in a Group Settlement
which may be by way of a class action settlement.
(3) Judge Frank Thaxton is to be appointed as the special
master, arbitrator, or alternate dispute resolution fact
(4) Two groups of claimants are to be established: Group A
and Group B claimants.
(5) The special master is to establish and allocate the two
(6) The special master is to determine the value of each
Group A claimant's individual claim, which is to be