FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2014-00475,
DIVISION "I-14" Honorable Piper D. Griffin, Judge
JENKINS, J., CONCURS IN PART AND DISSENTS IN PART WITH
REASONS Val P. Exnicios Kelsey L. Zeitzer LISKA EXNICIOS
& NUNGESSER And Anthony D. Irpino IRPINO LAW FIRM And
Mark P. Glago THE GLAGO LAW FIRM, LLC And Roderick R.
Alvendia J. Bart Kelly, III Jeanne K. Demarest Amy C.
Fontenot ALVENDIA KELLY & DEMAREST, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR
Franklin David Beahm Christopher G. Otten BEAHM & GREEN,
LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLANTS.
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano,
Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins).
F. Love Judge.
Infirmary and its insurers (collectively "Touro")
appeal the trial court's judgment that awarded Gloria
Jones ("Ms. Jones") reimbursement costs and
judicial interest. We find judicial interest began to accrue
from the date of the filing of the class action lawsuit, in
which Ms. Jones was a putative class member. Additionally,
because the deposition and trial transcripts were used to
impeach the witnesses called at trial in this case, we find
no error in the trial court's award of reimbursement
costs for the transcripts. Accordingly, the trial court's
judgment granting Ms. Jones' motion to tax costs is
HISTORY AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
2006, a class action lawsuit was filed by Cheryl Weems as the
putative class representative against Touro for damages
sustained during her mother's stay at Touro before,
during, and after Hurricane Katrina. A class certification
hearing was held, and class certification was denied by
judgment in August 2013.
putative class members, including Ms. Jones, filed their
individual lawsuits against Touro. Ms. Jones timely filed her
petition for damages in January 2014. The trial court later
found Touro liable in the amount of $30, 000 for damages Ms.
Jones suffered. In the December 2016 judgment, Ms. Jones was
also awarded costs and legal interest from the date of
judicial demand, and Touro did not appeal.
Jones subsequently filed a motion to tax costs to Touro and
to determine legal interest owed. In support of her motion,
Ms. Jones attached a copy of the itemization of the costs she
incurred in bringing her suit to trial. She also attached
affidavits certifying the accuracy of the costs and the
December 2016 judgment that found Touro liable. Touro filed
its opposition to the motion to tax costs, and a hearing on
the motion was held.
trial court rendered judgment in favor of Ms. Jones and
against Touro for judicial interest at the legal rate on the
principal sum of $30, 000 awarded in the December 2016
judgment, commencing from the date of the filing of the
putative class action on July 20, 2006, until the principal
judgment was paid by Touro via deposit to the registry of the
clerk of court on May 4, 2017. The trial court also awarded
reimbursement costs for the clerk of court fees, sheriff
fees, trial transcripts, deposition transcripts, and expert
witnesses. Touro timely appeals the trial court's
judgment that awarded judicial interest and reimbursement
raises two assigned errors on appeal: (1) the trial court
erred in awarding Ms. Jones judicial interest from the date
of the filing of the class action lawsuit; and (2) the trial
court erred in awarding Ms. Jones one-half of the
reimbursement costs for the depositions of Denice Eshleman
and Suzanne Hoffpauir and one-half of the costs for the trial
testimony of Scott Landry.
contends that the trial court misapplied the law in awarding
judicial interest and reimbursement costs, which invokes this
Court's de novo review. By contrast, Ms. Jones
asserts that the trial court's ruling should be upheld
because it is not clearly erroneous.
appeal, this Court applies a manifest error standard of
review. When the issues presented on appeal raise mixed
questions of fact and law, the manifest error standard
applies. Ursin ex rel. Eusan v. Bd. of Levee Com'rs
of Orleans Levee Dist. of State, 11-1105, p. 5 (La.App.
4 Cir. 9/26/12), 104 So.3d 534, 538 ("[A] mixed question
of fact and law should be accorded great deference by
appellate courts under the manifest error standard of