Application for Writs from the Monroe City Court for the
Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2016CV02436
Honorable Aisha S. Clark, Judge
& GREEN, L.L.C. By: Mark F. Vilar Aaron L. Green Counsel
VARHONDA E. BURRELL Counsel for Respondent
BROWN, GARRETT, and STEPHENS, JJ.
Hixson Autoplex of Monroe, LLC, filed a writ application in
this court following the denial of its motion for summary
judgment by the Monroe City Court, Parish of Ouachita, State
of Louisiana, in a lawsuit for damages brought by Janella
Davis. The writ was granted to docket. For the following
reasons, we grant the writ, reverse the trial court and grant
defendant's motion for summary judgment, dismissing
Davis's suit with prejudice.
filed a petition for damages on July 21, 2016, alleging that
Hixson Autoplex of Monroe, LLC ("Hixson"), failed
to properly diagnose problems with her 2006 BMW 5 Series (the
"vehicle") and its failure to do so resulted in
further damage to the vehicle. In response, Hixson filed a
dilatory exception of vagueness which resulted in the parties
entering into a consent judgment toclarify that the sole act
of negligence alleged by Davis is "failure to diagnose
the problem of the vehicle." Hixson subsequently filed
an answer denying the allegations and a motion for summary
judgment asserting Davis would not be able to meet her burden
at trial. That motion was denied and Hixson sought a
supervisory writ, which this court granted to
vehicle was purchased by Davis in 2014 for $13, 670.00 and
had a history of repairs prior to Davis purchasing it. On
June 21 or 22 of 2015, Davis noticed a temperature warning
light appear while driving the vehicle, and she had it towed
to Hixson. John Wheat, a certified master technician employed
by Hixson, inspected the vehicle and found there was a leak
at the coolant pump and the radiator cap was faulty. With
Davis's approval, Wheat replaced the coolant pump,
thermostat, radiator cap, vent pipe, and hose clamp for a
total cost of $1, 550.00 to Davis.
vehicle continued to give the same temperature warning,
causing Davis to have it towed and inspected twice more, on
July 6 and 9, 2015. On July 6, Davis was told the problem was
resolved by adding another clamp on a hose, and on July 9,
she was told the problem was an air pocket because they did
not see where coolant was leaking. On July 10, 2015, the
engine light came on. Hixson was unable to inspect the
vehicle the following day because it was a Saturday. The
engine light subsequently went off.
July 16, 2015, the engine light came back on, and the vehicle
began vibrating. Davis drove it to Hixson where an inspection
revealed that on one occasion the vehicle exhibited a
permanent fault caused by a misfire with cylinder cutout.
Davis was told the problem was unrelated to the prior coolant
problem and was probably caused by a faulty ignition coil. No
work by Hixson was performed at this time.
next day, the coolant light came on, and Davis's husband
returned the vehicle to Hixson. Hixson was unable to detect a
leak, so it placed dye in the car in an attempt to determine
where the coolant was going. By the time Davis's husband
got home, he observed no coolant remained in the vehicle.
20, 2015, Davis's husband added coolant to the vehicle at
which time white smoke appeared; they had the vehicle towed
back to Hixson. Wheat inspected the vehicle and determined
that due to the continued problems with the coolant system,
the next step to address the issue was to completely
disassemble and inspect the entire coolant system. Hixson
estimated it would cost approximately $1, 500.00 to have the
entire coolant system disassembled for diagnosis. Davis
claims Hixson informed her at this time that it believed the
vehicle may have a cracked head from when it initially came
to Hixson and it was the engine that needed to be broken down
for diagnosis, not the coolant system. Either way, Davis did
not authorize the work by Hixson and none was performed.
subsequently took the vehicle to another repairmen, Sedric
Bosley, who disassembled the engine and discovered the engine
block was cracked which required the engine to be replaced.
Davis purchased a used engine for $2, 850.00 which Bosley
installed. She paid an ...