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Walker v. The Manitowoc Co., Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

October 10, 2018

MATTHEW M. WALKER
v.
THE MANITOWOC COMPANY, INC., ET. AL. JIM LEE HANKINS
v.
THE MANITOWOC COMPANY, INC., ET AL.

          APPEAL FROM THE SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF IBERIA, NO. 11-9533, 12-0052 HONORABLE LORI ANN LANDRY, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Franklin Glen Shaw Leger & Shaw COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiffs/Appellants - Jim Lee Hankins and Matthew M. Walker

          Michael L. Barras Oats & Marino COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiffs/Appellants - Jim Lee Hankins and Matthew M. Walker

          Edward Paul Landry Landry, Watkins, Repaske & Breaux COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - Manitowoc Cranes, LLC

          J. Frederick Kessenich Daigle Fisse & Kessenich PLC COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - Starr Indemnity and Liability Insurance Company

          John Ashley Moore Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips L.L.P. COUNSEL FOR: Defendants/Appellees - Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America and H&E Equipment Services, Inc.

          William H. Parker, III John Hatch Hughes Allen & Gooch P. O. COUNSEL FOR: Intervenor/Appellant - Bayou Welding Works, LLC

          Michael Thomas Pulaski Keith W. McDaniel McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC COUNSEL FOR: Defendants/Appellees - Manitowoc Cranes, LLC, Westchester Fire Insurance Co., and The Manitowoc Company, Inc.

          Douglas William Truxillo Onebane Law Firm COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - T & T Truck & Crane Service, Inc.

          Steven Bernard Rabalais Rabalais & Hebert COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - Mike Evans Crane Service LLC

          Dan Boudreaux COUNSEL FOR: Intervenor/Appellee - Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

          Carl William Robicheaux COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - Northern Crane Service Inc.

          Paul J. Politz Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe COUNSEL FOR: Defendant/Appellee - Leslie Charles Bordelon

          Jake P. Skaggs Cozen & O'Connor COUNSEL FOR: Intervenors/Appellants - Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty Company, Bordelon Equip Co., and Leslie Charles Bordelon

          Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. In Proper Person Defendant/Appellee

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Phyllis M. Keaty, and Candyce G. Perret, Judges.

          ULYSSES GENE THIBODEAUX CHIEF JUDGE

         Plaintiffs, Matthew M. Walker and Jim Lee Hankins, filed separate suits, seeking damages for personal injuries they sustained as a result of a worksite accident involving the alleged failure of a Manitowoc model 888 crane (crane) to hold the load upon which Plaintiffs stood, causing Plaintiffs to drop to the ground. Through multiple amended petitions, Plaintiffs sued the manufacturer of the crane, the Manitowoc Company, Inc., Manitowoc Cranes, LLC, and their insurer, Westchester Fire Insurance Company (collectively Manitowoc), alleging the crane was unreasonably dangerous because of an inadequate warning and/or defect in design or construction/composition as defined by the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA). Plaintiffs also sued H&E Equipment Services, Inc., and its insurer, Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America (collectively H&E), among other various owners, custodians, servicers, and inspectors of the crane, alleging that H&E failed to properly service or inspect the crane and that H&E either knew or should have known of the defect in the crane and failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing the accident. Plaintiffs' employer, Bayou Welding Works, LLC (BWW), and its insurer, Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty Company (Allianz) (collectively Intervenors), intervened in the suit, seeking property damages and consequential losses arising from the same accident. [1] After the suits were consolidated, H&E moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted.

         Plaintiffs/Intervenors filed this "protective appeal" to reverse the trial court's judgment granting H&E's motion for summary judgment, but only if this court reverses the partial summary judgment granted to Plaintiffs/Intervenors on their failure to warn claim against Manitowoc in the companion case, Matthew M. Walker v. The Manitowoc Company, Inc., et al., consolidated with Jim Lee Hankins v. The Manitowoc Company, Inc., et al., 16-897, 16-898, 18-221, 18-223 (La.App. 3 Cir.), __So.3d__ ...


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