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
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.
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.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
now appeal, contending that the trial court erred in granting
summary judgment where it disregarded plaintiffs'
deposition testimony and supporting affidavits and made
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,  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). 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).