Appealed from the 18th Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of West Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Case No. 42,
961 The Honorable James J. Best
Michael E. Parks Counsel for Defendant/Appellant New Roads,
Louisiana Jason Jarreau
W. Joyce Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellees Madison A. Sharko
Danos Tree Service, LLC and New Orleans, Louisiana Daniel
BEFORE: McCLENDON, WELCH, AND THERIOT, JJ.
Trailers, LLC ("Proride") and Jason Jarreau appeal
the judgment of the Eighteenth Judicial District Court
granting Danos Tree Service, LLC and Daniel LaHam's
(collectively "Appellees") motion for summary
judgment. For the following reasons, we affirm in part,
vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
January 11, 2016, Jason Jarreau and Proride (collectively
"Appellants") entered into a contract with Daniel
LaHam, the owner of Danos Tree Service, LLC
("DTS"). Appellants agreed to manufacture a grapple
trailer for DTS by March 27, 2016 for a total price of $33,
511.97. Mr. LaHam gave Appellants a check for $30, 000 as a
down payment. According to Appellees, Appellants never
provided the trailer, never returned the down payment, and
never responded to Appellees' demands for information.
1, 2016, Appellees filed suit against Appellants, alleging
fraud, violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act
("LUTPA") pursuant to La. R.S. 51:1401, et
seq., breach of contract, and unjust enrichment.
Appellees further alleged that Mr. Jarreau was solidarity
liable with Proride under a veil piercing theory. Appellees
also brought a revocatory and oblique action pursuant to La.
Civ. Code arts. 2036 and 2044 for the return of funds
improperly received that caused or increased Proride's
insolvency. Additionally, Appellees alleged they were
entitled to damages for detrimentally relying on the promises
of Mr. Jarreau and Proride, and alleged that Proride and Mr.
Jarreau committed the tort of conversion by improperly
receiving and never returning the $30, 000 deposit. On the
same date, Appellees submitted interrogatories, requests for
admissions, and requests for production of documents to both
Mr. Jarreau and Proride. Appellees also attached nine
different consumer complaint forms to the petition that
accused Appellants of conduct such as issuing temporary tags
without a permit, missing delivery deadlines, failing to
provide license plates and/or title documents, refusing to
return deposits, and incorrectly installing equipment.
27, 2016, Mr. Jarreau submitted a document entitled
"Defendants Response" on behalf of himself and
Proride. In the "Defendants Response," Appellants
contested each of the nine customer complaints attached to
the petition. As for the contract at issue, Appellants denied
the allegation of fraud and alleged that Proride had been
forced to shut down its business during the process of
Appellees' trailer being built. The response also states
that because Proride is a limited liability company, none of
its members or entities are personally liable for the funds
in question. The response also indicates that Appellants have
never refused to refund the $30, 000 deposit to Appellees.
March 16, 2017, Appellees filed a motion for summary
judgment. In a supporting memorandum, Appellees argue that
because Appellants failed to deny the allegations in the
petition and failed to answer the requests for admissions,
those allegations were deemed admitted and evidenced the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Appellants did
not file an opposition to Appellees' motion for summary
judgment however, Mr. Jarreau did appear pro se on behalf of
himself and Proride at the hearing on the motion.
trial court signed a judgment on May 3, 2017, granting
Appellees' motion for summary judgment finding Proride
and Mr. Jarreau, in his individual capacity, solidarity
liable to Appellees in the amount of $30, 000. The trial
court also ordered Mr. Jarreau to pay $11, 000 in
attorney's fees and $968.50 in court costs to Appellees.
This appeal followed.