Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Qasem v. Acadian Apartments, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

June 1, 2018

AFRAH QASEM AND ASARY SHOTAH
v.
ACADIAN APARTMENTS, INC.

          Appealed from the Thirty-Second Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of Terrebonne State of Louisiana Docket Number 165, 111 Honorable David W. Arceneaux, Judge Presiding

          Allen V. Davis Kenneth J. Dupaty Gonzales, LA Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants, Afrah Qasem and Asary Shotah

          Stephen N. Elliott Howard B. Kaplan Metairie, LA Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Acadian Apartments, Inc.

          BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., MCDONALD, AND CHUTZ, JJ.

          WHIPPLE, C.J.

         This matter is before us on appeal by plaintiffs/appellants, Afrah Qasem and Asary Shotah, from a judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in favor of defendant/appellee, Acadian Apartments, Inc. For the reasons that follow, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         In the early morning hours of October 29, 2010, plaintiffs, Afrah Qasem and her daughter, Shotah, attempted to escape a fire in their apartment by jumping from a second floor apartment window. Plaintiffs subsequently filed suit against Acadian Apartments, Inc. (hereinafter "Acadian") seeking damages for injuries they sustained.[1] Plaintiffs alleged that their damages were caused by Acadian's negligence in failing to maintain adequate policy and procedure, properly working smoke/fire alarms, and properly working fire extinguishers, and in failing to provide adequate and properly noted emergency exits.

         Acadian responded by filing a reconventional demand against plaintiffs, requesting a trial by jury and seeking damages in excess of $50, 000.00 for the "extensive damage" to their apartment and to adjoining apartments purportedly caused by plaintiffs. Therein, Acadian alleged that plaintiffs were negligent in failing to be attentive and maintain safe conditions in the apartment, in causing the fire by their careless use of a candle or other inflammatory device, and in starting a fire and failing to extinguish it.

         On February 3, 2017, Acadian filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of plaintiffs' claims, contending that plaintiffs did not allege, nor can they prove, that Acadian caused the fire, and that plaintiffs have set forth no evidence to establish their entitlement to recovery of damages under any other theory.[2] Acadian's motion for summary judgment was set for hearing on June 9, 2017. Following the hearing on June 26, 2017, the trial court signed a judgment granting Acadian's motion for summary judgment and dismissing plaintiffs' claims against it with prejudice.

         Plaintiffs now appeal, contending that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment where it disregarded plaintiffs' deposition testimony and supporting affidavits and made credibility evaluations.

         DISCUSSION

         At the outset, we note that our review of the judgment indicates that the summary judgment granted in favor of the defendants dismisses all of plaintiffs' personal injury claims against Acadian with prejudice. Although the trial court retained jurisdiction over the Acadian's reconventional demand (i.e., Acadian's property damage claims against plaintiffs), which remain unresolved, [3] because the judgment before us on appeal resolves all of the issues in the principal demand, we conclude that it is a final judgment subject to immediate appeal pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 1915(A)(3).[4] See Jackson National Life Insurance Company v. Kennedy-Fagan, 2003-0054 (La.App. 1st Cir. 2/6/04), 873 So.2d 44, 47-48, writ denied, 2004-0600 (La. 4/23/04), 870 So.2d 307, citing Motorola, Inc. v. Associated Indemnity Corporation, 2002-0716 (La.App. 1st Cir. 4/30/03), 867 So.2d 715, 718-719 (The granting of a summary judgment resolving all issues in the principal demand was a final judgment pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 1915(A)(3) that did not require a certification pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 1915(B) when other issues in the reconventional demand remained unresolved.); Johnson v. Laney, 2007-0237 (La.App. 4th Cir. 7/25/07), 964 So.2d 418, 420, n.4 (The granting of summary judgment resolving all of the issues presented in the principal demand, the judgment was a final appealable judgment pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 1915(A)(3) without the need for certification even though the district court retained jurisdiction over the claims asserted in the reconventional demand.) Accordingly, we find this appeal is properly before us, and the trial court was not required to certify the judgment as a final judgment pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 1915(B).[5]

         Summary ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.