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Rismiller v. Gemini Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

October 3, 2018

KHRISTY GOINS RISMILLER, TUTRIX FOR DANIEL EDWARDS GOINS
v.
GEMINI INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.

          ON APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF CONCORDIA, NO. 49, 686 C/W 49, 751 C/W 49, 832 HONORABLE JOHN C. REEVES, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Andre C. Gaudin M. Joey Bernard Burglass & Tankersley, LLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Kenneth Boone d/b/a Boone Trucking

          Timothy W. Hassinger, T.A. Patrick J. Schepens Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Mark Isaiah Gordon

          Charles S. Norris, Jr. Christopher J. Norris Norris Law Firm, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Khristy Goins Rismiller, Tutrix for Daniel Goins

          Colt J. Fore D. Blayne Honeycutt Fayard and Honeycutt COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: David Watts

          Virgil Russell Purvis, III Smith, Taliaferro & Purvis COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/RESPONDENTS: Succession of Richard Stewart, Jr. Richard Stewart, Sr. Vera Anita Stewart Raymond Kelly Donna Kelly

          J. Rock Palermo, III Veron, Bice, Palermo COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/RESPONDENTS: Succession of Richard Stewart, Jr. Richard Stewart, Sr. Vera Anita Stewart Raymond Kelly Donna Kelly

          Jeremy Z. Soso Lambert & Nelson COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Sheila Smith

          Joe Meng Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Sheila Smith

          Micah A. Gautreaux Degan, Blanchard & Nash COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Gemini Insurance Company

          Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Billy H. Ezell, Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, John E. Conery, D. Kent Savoie, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE

         This consolidated matter arises out of a tragic auto accident that occurred on October 1, 2015, on U.S. Highway 84 in Concordia Parish.[1] An eighteen-wheeler truck driven by Mark Gordon and owned by Kenneth Boone d/b/a Boone Trucking was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle being driven by Richard Stewart, Jr. Stewart and his two minor children, George Stewart and Vera Cheyenne Stewart, were killed in the accident.

         George and Vera Cheyenne were Stewart's biological children from a relationship with Brandi Hardie; however, Stewart and Hardie were never married. At the time of the accident, Raymond and Donna Kelly had custody of Vera Cheyenne, and Jimmy and Tammy Johnese had custody of George.

         Stewart had two other biological children who were adults at the time of his death: Daniel Goins and David Watts. Goins and Watts were born during Stewart's marriage to Lisa Watts Stewart, and they were given up for adoption. Goins was adopted by George and Joyce Goins, Stewart's uncle and aunt. Watts was adopted by his maternal grandparents, Mary and Jimmy Watts. At the time of the accident, Stewart and Lisa were physically separated, but they had never legally divorced. It has been alleged that Lisa currently resides in a care facility in another state.

         Following the accident, three separate survival and wrongful death actions arising out of Stewart's and the minor children's deaths were filed in the trial court. Two of these actions involve claims filed by or on behalf of Goins and Watts.[2] The plaintiffs in the third action are: Stewart's Succession; Stewart's parents, Richard Stewart, Sr. and Vera Stewart; and Raymond and Donna Kelly ...


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