MARK C. LEDET
FABIANMARTINS CONSTRUCTION LLC, CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYD'S, LONDON SUBSCRIBING TO POLICY NO. LAL-000012346, ANDREW W. BURSTEN, ET ALS
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 769-681, DIVISION
"B" HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, MARK C. LEDET Jack E. Morris
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT
LLOYD'S LONDON SEVERALLY SUBSCRIBING TO POLICY NO.
17-75900829233-S-00 AND NATIONAL FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE
COMPANY Virginia Y. Dodd Kevin W. Welsh
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and
John J. Molaison, Jr.
J. MOLAISON, JR. JUDGE
Mark C. Ledet, appeals the trial court's November 28,
2017 partial final judgment granting summary judgment in
favor of defendants, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's,
London Subscribing to Policy No. 17-7590089233-S-00, and
National Fire and Marine Insurance Company (collectively
"Insurers"), dismissing Mr. Ledet's claims
against the Insurers for breach of an insurance contract and
bad faith claims adjusting, with prejudice. For the reasons
that follow, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
action arises out of flooding that occurred at The Carol
Condominium (the "Carol") in March 2016 as a result of
a ruptured water pipe caused by renovation work being
performed in the one of the units. "[V]irtually all of the
units and common elements on the floors of the [Carol] below
the tenth floor" sustained water damage due to the
broken pipe, including the unit owned by Mr.
Carol Condominium Association, Inc. (the
"Association"), is a Louisiana non-profit
corporation created pursuant to the Louisiana Condominium
Act, La. R.S. 9:1121.101 et seq. (the
"Act"). All Carol unit owners are automatically
members of the Association, and no other persons or entities
are entitled to membership. Each unit owner's membership
interest in the Association is equal to his respective
percentage of ownership interest in the common elements of
the Carol as set forth in the Declaration of Condominium of
Carol Condominium (the "Declaration").
to the Association's By-Laws, the Association is required
to "obtain adequate and appropriate kinds of
insurance" in accordance with the
Declaration. The Act also mandates that the Association
obtain insurance insuring the condominium
property. The Declaration specifically provides that
"the [Carol] Property is submitted to the provisions of
the [Act]." Accordingly, the Association purchased a
commercial property insurance policy (the "Policy")
from the Insurers providing coverage for "direct
physical loss of or damage to Covered Property" at the
Carol caused or resulting from any covered cause of
loss. The only named insured identified in the
Policy is the "Carol Condominium Association,
Inc.," with a single stated limit of liability for the
building, and a separately stated limit for business personal
property. There is no separately stated limit of liability
for each individual unit. The premiums for the Policy are paid
for through the common expenses, which are paid for by each
unit owner according to his percentage interest in the common
elements. The Policy was in effect from February 1, 2016 to
February 1, 2017, including the date the water pipe in the
Carol ruptured causing damage to Mr. Ledet's unit.
Ledet avers that he presented to the Insurers satisfactory
proof of loss of the damage sustained to his
unit. While it appears the Association also
presented a claim to the Insurers for damages occasioned to
the Carol-and that the Insurers adjusted the loss and issued
payment to the Association-the Insurers denied payment to Mr.
Ledet on his individual claim on the basis that he is not a
named insured, an additional insured, or a third party
beneficiary under the Policy.
March 6, 2017, Mr. Ledet filed suit against FabianMartins and
its liability insurer, the owners of Unit 10-C and their
liability insurer, Mr. Ledet's own personal property
insurer,  the Association, and the Insurers,
seeking damages caused to his unit as a result of the
flooding. As against the Insurers, Mr. Ledet claims he is
entitled to "relief and damages for bad faith breach of
contract pursuant to Louisiana contract law, La. C.C. art.
1953 et seq., including but not limited to the
amounts owed under the … Policy" for the property
damage sustained to his individual unit, and for "pre-
and post-judgment legal interest, mitigation costs,
inconvenience and aggravation, litigation costs and expenses,
statutory penalties, and attorney fees pursuant to the
Louisiana Insurance Code Unfair Trade Practices
statutes," La. R.S. 22:1982 and La. R.S. 22:1973.
answer to Mr. Ledet's petition, the Insurers averred that
they "were notified of the loss by [the Association] and
adjusted same in accordance with the terms of the Policy and
Louisiana law." The Insurers then filed an exception of
no cause of action and/or motion for summary judgment on the
basis that Mr. Ledet, who is not a named insured or an
additional named insured, has no right under the Policy to
sue the Insurers for losses sustained to his individual unit.
According to the Insurers, absent proof that Mr. Ledet is a
third party beneficiary of the Policy, the "right to sue
[the Insurers] belongs to their insured," the
opposition, Mr. Ledet argued that the Act, the Policy, and
the Declaration, when read collectively, establish that,
under the theory of stipulation pour autrui, he is a
third party beneficiary of the Policy. As such, he averred
that his petition states a cause of action against the
Insurers for breach of the Policy and bad faith claims
adjusting. Alternatively, Mr. Ledet argued that, as a
"beneficiary of an express contractual insurance trust
administered by the Association as trustee," he is
entitled to enforce the Association's rights under the
Policy in order to protect his interest in the insurance
proceeds owed by the Insurers for damage to his unit.
Insurers' exception and motion came for hearing on
October 19, 2017. Following oral argument, the trial court
took the matter under advisement. On November 28, 2017, the
trial court issued judgment in favor of the Insurers,
granting their motion for summary judgment and dismissing
with prejudice Mr. Ledet's claims against them,
incorporating the following written reasons:
After careful consideration of the applicable law, memoranda,
and exhibits submitted by the parties, the Court finds that,
under the policy at issue herein, there is no clear
expression of intent to benefit the Plaintiff, and any
benefit which may accrue to the Plaintiff is merely
incidental to the contract. Thus, the Plaintiff is not a
third party beneficiary and has no standing to assert a claim
under the policy.
this judgment, Mr. Ledet filed the instant appeal.
sole assignment of error, Mr. Ledet contends the trial court
erred in failing to find that, although he is not a named
insured or an additional named insured, the Association's
Policy contains "manifestly clear, certain, and direct
stipulations of insurance coverage and other benefits in his
favor as the owner of a condominium unit insured by the
[P]olicy," and thus, under a theory of stipulation
pour autrui, he is a third party beneficiary of the
Policy to the extent of his [undivided .6643] interest in the
insurance proceeds owed by the Insurers for damage to his
unit. Alternatively, Mr. Ledet avers the trial court erred in
failing to find that he is a beneficiary of an "express
contractual insurance trust" administered by the
Association as trustee for the benefit of the unit owners,
including himself, and as such, he is entitled to enforce the
Association's rights under the Policy in order to protect
his interest in the insurance proceeds that are owed by the
Insurers for damage to his condominium unit.
well settled that the appellate review of summary judgment is
de novo, using the same criteria governing the trial
court's consideration of whether summary judgment is
appropriate. Hebert v. Jefferson Parish Hosp. Dist.
#1, 11-943 (La.App. 5 Cir. 3/27/12), 91 So.3d 1126,
1127. The party bringing the summary judgment motion bears
the burden of proof. La. C.C.P. art. 966(D)(1). However,
"if the mover will not bear the burden of proof at trial
on the issue that is before the court on the motion for
summary judgment," then the mover must merely
"point out to the court the absence of factual support
for one or more elements essential to the adverse party's
claim, action, or defense." Id. Then, the
burden shifts to the adverse party "to produce factual
support sufficient to establish the existence of a genuine
issue of material fact or that the mover is not entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Id. Both the
evidence and all inferences drawn from the evidence must be
construed in favor of the party opposing the motion, and all
doubt must be resolved in his favor. Hebert, 91
So.3d at 1127.
"material fact" is one that potentially insures or
prevents recovery, affects a litigant's ultimate success,
or determines the outcome of the lawsuit. An issue is genuine
if it is such that reasonable persons could disagree; if only
one conclusion could be reached by reasonable persons,
summary judgment is appropriate as there is no need to go to
trial on that issue. Upton v. Rouse's Enterprises,
LLC, et al., 15-484 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2/24/16), 186 So.3d
1195, 1198, writ denied, 16-0580 (La. 5/13/16), 191
So.3d 1057. Whether a particular fact is material can be seen
only in light of the substantive law applicable to the case.
Triche v. McDonald's Corp., 14-318 (La.App. 5
Cir. 10/29/14), 164 So.3d 253, 256.
of an insurance policy usually involves a legal question
which can be resolved properly in the framework of a motion
for summary judgment. Simon v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins.
Co., 16-46 (La.App. 5 Cir. 9/8/16), 201 So.3d 1007,
1009. An insurance policy is a contract between the insurer
and the insured and has the effect of law between them.
See La. C.C. arts. 1906 and 1983; Gorman v. City
of Opelousas, 13-1734 (La. 7/1/14), 148 So.3d 888, 892.
The judiciary's role in interpreting an insurance
contract is "to ascertain the common intent of the
insured and the insurer as reflected by the words in the
policy." Peterson v. Schimek, 98-1712 (La.
3/2/99), 729 So.2d 1024, 1028; see La. C.C. art.
2045. The parties' intent, as reflected by the words in
the policy, determines the extent of coverage. Farciert
v. U.S. Agencies Cas. Ins. Co., 13-626 (La.App. 5 Cir.
12/19/13), 131 So.3d 1020, 1024. Such intent is to be
determined in accordance with the plain, ordinary and
generally prevailing meaning of the words used in the policy,
unless the words have acquired a technical meaning.
Id.; La. C.C. art. 2047.
insurance contract is construed as a whole and each provision
of the policy must be interpreted in light of the other
provisions so that each is given meaning. Gange v.
Hamed, 12-510, 12-511 (La.App. 5 Cir. 5/30/13), 118
So.3d 36, 41, writ denied, 13-2050 (La. 11/15/13),
126 So.3d 472 (citing Peterson v. Schimek, 729 So.2d
at 1029); see also La. C.C. art. 2050. A single
provision or portion of the policy should not be construed
separately at the expense of disregarding other provisions.
Id. When the words of an insurance contract are
clear and explicit and lead to no absurd consequences, courts
must enforce the contract as written and may make no further
interpretation in search of the parties' intent.
See La. C.C. art. 2046; Peterson v.
Schimek, 729 So.2d at 1027. Insurance policies should
not be interpreted in an unreasonable or a strained manner
under the guise of contractual interpretation to enlarge or
to restrict its provisions beyond what is reasonably
contemplated by unambiguous terms or to achieve an absurd
conclusion. Carrier v. Reliance Ins. Co., 99-2573
(La. 4/11/00), 759 So.2d 37, 43. That is, the rules of
construction do not authorize a perversion of the words or
the exercise of inventive powers to create an ambiguity where
none exists or the making of a new contract when the terms
express with sufficient clearness the parties' intent.
Peterson v. Schimek, 729 So.2d at 1029. If, however,
an ambiguity remains after applying the general rules of
contractual interpretation to an insurance contract, the
ambiguous contractual provision must be construed against the
insurer who furnished the wording of the contract and in
favor of the insured. Id.; La. C.C. art. 2056.
Unless a policy conflicts with statutory provisions or public
policy, insurers may limit their liability and are entitled
to impose and enforce reasonable conditions upon the policy
obligations that the insurer contractually assumes.
Louisiana Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Interstate Fire &
Casualty Co., 93-911 (La. 1/14/94), 630 So.2d 759, 763.
instant case, the parties do not dispute that the Association
is the only named insured under the Policy, and that there is
no express contractual language therein (or obligation
mandated by the provisions of the Act, or those stated in the
Declaration), which creates a direct obligation from the
Insurers to Mr. Ledet. Mr. Ledet's claims against the
Insurers for breach of the insurance contract and bad faith
claims adjusting rests solely on his asserted status as a
third party beneficiary of the Policy or, alternatively, as a
beneficiary of an express contractual insurance trust. Thus,
this Court must determine whether the applicable provisions
of the Act, Declaration, and Policy, when read together,
create a stipulation pour autrui in favor of Mr.
Ledet, a third party unit owner, including giving him a
direct right of action against the Insurers under the Policy
for the relief he seeks.
Louisiana, a plaintiff may sue under an insurance policy when
he is a named insured, additional insured, or a third party
beneficiary of the contract. Haddad v. Elkhateeb,
10-0214, 10-0308 (La.App. 4 Cir. 8/11/10), 46 So.3d 244, 257
n. 11, writ denied, 10-2076 (La. 11/12/10), 49 So.3d
895. Because Mr. Ledet is neither a named insured nor an
additional named insured, he can only avail himself to the
benefits of the Policy if he can establish that he is a third
party beneficiary. Joseph v. Hospital Service District
No. 2 of the Parish of St. Mary, 05-2364 (La. 10/16/06),
939 So.2d 1206, 1211. The Louisiana Civil Code provides that
"[a] contracting party may stipulate a benefit for a
third person called a third party beneficiary." La. C.C.
art. 1978. In Louisiana, such a contract for the benefit of a
third party is commonly referred to as a "stipulation
Civil Code does not provide an "analytic framework for
determining whether a third party beneficiary contract
exists" in a particular case. Joseph, 939 So.2d
at 1211. The Louisiana Supreme Court, however, has held that
there are three criteria for determining whether contracting
parties have provided a benefit for a third party and
requires a review of whether: (1) the stipulation for a third
party is manifestly clear; (2) there is certainty as to the
benefit provided the third party; and (3) the benefit is not
a mere incident of the contract between the promisor and the
promisee. Id., 939 So.2d at 1212. Pursuant to La.
C.C. Art. 1981, "[t]he stipulation gives the third party
beneficiary the right to demand performance from the
promisor." Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1211. Each case
must be decided on a case-by-case basis, and "[e]ach
contract must be evaluated on its own terms and conditions in
order to determine if the contract stipulates a benefit for a
third person." Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1212;
see also Scarberry v. Entergy Corp., 14-1256
(La.App. 4 Cir. 5/6/16), 172 So.3d 51, 57. A stipulation
pour autrui is never presumed, and the party
claiming the benefit bears the burden of proof.
Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1212. Thus, Mr. Ledet bears the
burden of establishing all three criteria. Id.;
see also La. C.C. art. 1831.
Manifestly Clear Stipulation
most basic requirement of a stipulation pour autrui
is that the contract manifests a clear intention to benefit
the third party; absent such a clear manifestation, a party
claiming to be a third party beneficiary cannot meet his
burden of proof." Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1212
[citations omitted]. Based upon our de novo review,
we find that the Policy, when considered together with the
mandates of the Act and the Declaration, lacks a manifestly
clear stipulation of coverage intended by the parties to
benefit individual unit owners, including Mr. Ledet, so as to
give them a direct right of enforcement against the Insurers.
As the Supreme Court noted in Joseph, "[a]
person may derive a benefit from a contract to which he is
not a party without being a third party beneficiary."
Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1214. Such is the situation in
the instant case.
mandates that any loss covered by the Policy "shall
be adjusted with the [A]ssociation," and that any
proceeds for that loss "shall be payable to any
insurance trustee designated for that purpose, or
otherwise to the [A]ssociation … ."
[Emphasis supplied.] La. R.S. 9:1123.112(D). Also, section
13(a) of the Declaration requires that the Policy
"shall be written in the name of, and the
proceeds thereof shall be payable to … the
Association, as the [designated] trustee for each of the Unit
Owners ... ." [Emphasis supplied.] Thus, pursuant to the
express provisions of the Act and the Declaration, it is
clear that all property losses sustained by the Carol must be
adjusted with the Association-not with individual unit
owners-and that all proceeds recoverable under the Policy for
those losses must be paid to the Association, as the
designated trustee-not to the individual unit owners.
while recognizing that the Policy covers property owned by
the Association as well as property that may be owned by a
unit owner, we disagree with Mr. Ledet's contention that
the Policy's loss payment provisions stipulate a benefit
in his favor because those provisions provide the Insurers
with the option to adjust losses directly with unit
owners. To the contrary, we find these provisions give to the
Insurers the exclusive right to either
adjust and settle covered losses directly with the
Association (which is in accord with the Act and the
Declaration) or with the unit owners. Our review of
the entire Policy has revealed no provision which
entitles the unit owners to receive direct payment
for losses that may include their individual units. Moreover,
it is clear from the Policy's unambiguous language that
the Insurers are not obligated to pay directly to
Mr. Ledet any part of the indemnity that may be due for the
loss he claims to have sustained. Thus, even though the
Policy benefits Mr. Ledet and other third party unit owners
by providing coverage for certain types of property that may
belong to them, we find that its express language, which
confers solely upon the Insurers the power to regard
all contractual obligations due under the Policy as extending
only to the named insured (i.e. the Association),
specifically negates the existence of a stipulation pour
autrui, or any enforceable obligation, in favor of the
individual unit owners as third party beneficiaries.
provisions of the Policy, as well as those contained in the
Act and the Declaration, further support a finding that the
Insurers and the Association did not intend to confer on any
third party unit owner a legally enforceable right of
recovery against the Insurers. The Policy expressly states
that the Association is the "Named Insured" and
provides, throughout the Policy, that "the words
'you' and 'your' refer to the Named
Insured." Paragraph 4 of the General Provisions provides
that "[t]he insurance described herein shall not be
assigned in whole or in part without the written
consent" of the Insurers. Further, paragraph F of the
Common Policy Provisions provides "[y]our rights and
duties under this policy may not be transferred without our
written consent." Additionally, paragraph F of the
Commercial Property Conditions specifically states that
"[n]o party other than you [the Association, the named
insured], having custody of Covered Property will benefit
from this insurance." [Emphasis supplied.]
addition to the Policy's provisions, the Act provides
that "[a]n insurance policy issued to the [A]ssociation
does not prevent a unit owner from obtaining insurance
for his own benefit." [Emphasis supplied.] La. R.S.
9:1123.112(E). Further, section 13(d) of the Declaration
states that "[e]ach Unit Owner is responsible for
obtaining his own insurance" covering damage to the
contents, additions and improvements to his unit, and may
obtain additional insurance covering his personal liability
and loss or damage to his unit "above and beyond the
extent that his liability loss or damage" is covered by
the Policy obtained by the Association. Lastly, while the Act
requires that unit owners be insured persons under the
Association's liability coverage, it does not
require that unit owners be named insureds under the
Association's property insurance coverage. See
La. R.S. 9:1123.112(C)(1).
Ledet has not directed this Court to any ambiguity in the
Policy, and we have found none. Therefore, considering the
Policy provisions as a whole, together with the applicable
provisions of the Act and the Declaration, we find the Policy
lacks a manifestly clear stipulation of coverage in favor of
individual unit owners, including Mr. Ledet, or that the
Insurers and the Association intended to give them an
enforceable benefit under the insurance
contract. Accordingly, the trial judge correctly
determined that the Policy lacks a manifestly clear
stipulation intending to establish a benefit in favor of Mr.
Ledet or other unit owners.
Certainty as to the Benefit Provided
second factor in determining whether a stipulation pour
autrui exists (i.e., that there is certainty as
to the benefit provided to the third party), is based on the
principle that, in order "[t]o create a legal obligation
enforceable by the beneficiary, there must be certainty as to
the benefit to accrue to the beneficiary."
Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1212 (citing Berry v.
Berry, 371 So.2d 1346, 1347 (La.App. 1 Cir.), writ
denied, 373 So.2d 511 (1979)). As to this factor, we
find no language in the Policy that obligates the
Insurers to provide any benefit directly to
individual unit owners such as Mr. Ledet. Pursuant to La.
R.S. 9:1123.112(D) of the Act, the unit owners may
only recover proceeds under the Policy from the
Association-not the Insurers-and even then,
only if surplus proceeds remain after repairs are
made by the Association to the common elements and covered
portions of the units. Thus, whether the unit owners are able
to recover any proceeds at all is contingent upon the extent
of damage occasioned to the common elements and covered
portion of the units, and is triggered only when the
loss payment made by the Insurers to the Association exceeds
the Association's cost to repair that damage.
this benefit of the insurance proceeds to the unit owners, if
any, is an indirect benefit, purely speculative, and is an
obligation imposed by the Act upon the Association,
not an obligation imposed upon the Insurers under
the provisions of the Policy. Moreover, absent an express
provision in the Policy, we find that a third party unit
owner's potential entitlement to a portion of the
insurance proceeds paid by the Insurers to the Association is
insufficient to confer a benefit in favor of the unit owner
to demand those proceeds directly from the Insurer. Because
no express provision in the Policy exists in the case sub
judice, we will not read one into it.
Benefit Not a Mere Incident of the Contract
third requirement-that the benefit to the third party cannot
be a mere incident of the contract-requires the reviewing
court to distinguish those instances where an advantage has
actually been stipulated on behalf of a third party from
those where the advantage relied upon is "merely an
incident of the contract between the parties."
Joseph, 939 So.2d at 1212-1213 (quoting Smith, 11
Tul. L. Rev. at 28). See also Estate v. Bernice Mayeaux
v. Glover, 08-2031, 08-2032 (La.App. 1 Cir. 1/12/10), 31
So.3d 1090, 1096. "Not every promise, performance which
may be advantageous to a third person, will create in him an
actionable right." Joseph, 939 So.2d at
1212-1213 (quoting Smith, 11 Tul. L. Rev. at 28).
acknowledging that Mr. Ledet does derive some benefit under
the Policy, we find that any such benefit is merely
incidental to the contract and is insufficient to establish a
third party beneficiary relationship under the facts
presented herein. To establish a stipulation pour
autrui, the third party relationship must form the
consideration for a condition of the contract. Rivnor
Properties v. Herbert O'Donnell, Inc., 92-1103
(La.App. 5th Cir. 1994), 633 So.2d 735, 742. Here,
the plain language of the Policy, when viewed in its
entirety, shows that the primary purpose of the Policy was
not to directly benefit unit owners or to insure their
individual units, but rather, was to discharge the
Association's obligation under the Act and the
Declaration to obtain insurance for the common elements and
units against damage and loss, and to protect the
Association's interests and property.
the mere mention of "unit owners" in the Policy
does not make the unit owners third party beneficiaries. They
are not individually identified in the Policy, nor is there a
separately stated limit of liability for each unit owner.
Consequently, we find that the benefit alleged by Mr.
Ledet-i.e., coverage under the Policy for property
he individually owns-was not consideration for a condition of
the Policy, but rather, was merely incidental to the primary
purpose for which the Insurers and the Association entered
into the insurance contract. And, even though Mr. Ledet
clearly benefits under the Policy, he is not an intended
third party beneficiary with the right to make direct claims
against the Insurers for individual losses; his potential
benefits are merely incidental. Put another way, the Insurers
did not intend to confer or obligate themselves to provide
benefits to individual unit owners directly, nor was making
unit owners third party beneficiaries consideration for the
if we were to adopt Mr. Ledet's argument-that the Policy
language intentionally stipulates a benefit in favor of the
individual unit owners- we can envision a situation where
insurers of condominium complexes in this state would not
only be exposed to the insured's claim (i.e.,
the Association's claim), but potentially, would also be
exposed to multiple claims by the individual unit owners,
non-signatories to the insurance contract, seeking recovery
and payment for the same loss. Additionally, unless 100% of
the unit owners agreed and signed off on a settlement, a lone
unit owner could potentially hold up the entire settlement,
thus preventing finality to any of the claims and/or repair
and restoration of the damaged property. Instead, we find
that under the Act, the intention is to have the Association,
as trustee for the unit owners, as the only party entitled to
receive payment under the Policy for losses or damage to
covered property (whether owned by the unit owner or by the
Association), so that the Association may then ascertain how
and when to distribute those funds, if ever, to unit owners
in the event a surplus of proceeds remains after all repairs
to the damaged common elements and units have been made.
following our de novo review, we find Mr. Ledet has
failed to satisfy the three-prong test for establishing a
stipulation pour autrui as set forth by the Supreme
Court in Joseph, supra. We conclude the
Policy contains no provision which establishes a stipulation
in favor of individual unit owners, such as Mr. Ledet, in a
manifestly clear manner. We find there is no certainty in the
Policy as to any benefit provided to the individual unit
owners, and conclude that any such benefit derived is not
intentional, but instead, a mere incident of the insurance
contract between the Insurers and the Association. Put
simply, we find the Policy devoid of any benefit flowing
directly in favor of individual unit owners, which would
create in them a direct right of action against the Insurers
to either enforce the Policy or demand its performance.
Accordingly, in the absence of a direct benefit conferred by
the Policy, pursuant to La. C.C. art. 1978, as a matter of
law, the unit owners [i.e., Mr. Ledet] cannot be
third party beneficiaries. Joseph, 939 So.2d at
1214. The trial court did not err in finding that Mr. Ledet
is not a third party beneficiary under the Policy.