Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company David Scott Burkett, Ashley Burkett, and Shelter Mutual Insurance Company,
Appealed from the Twenty-First Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Tangipahoa State of Louisiana Docket Number
2016-0003354 Division "D" The Honorable M. Douglas
Hughes, Judge Presiding
J. Robichaux Ryan G. Davis Mandeville, Louisiana Attorneys
for Appellant, Plaintiff-Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty
Stephen F. Butterfield Brent E. Kinchen Baton Rouge,
Louisiana Attorneys for Appellees, Defendants-David Scott
Burkett, Ashley Burkett, and Shelter Mutual Insurance Company
Before: Pettigrew, Welch, and Chutz, JJ.
plaintiff, Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company
("Farm Bureau"), appeals from a judgment of the
trial court granting summary judgment in favor of the
defendants-Shelter Mutual Insurance Company
("Shelter") and its insureds, Ashley Burkett and
David Scott Burkett ("Burketts")-that dismissed all
of Farm Bureau's claims, with prejudice. For the reasons
that follow, we reverse and remand.
and Procedural History
matter arises out of an automobile accident that occurred on
December 13, 2015, when a 2013 Mercedes Benz GLK 350 operated
by Katherine Burkett and insured by Shelter, collided with a
2014 Chevrolet Cruze operated by Jessica Hall and insured by
Farm Bureau. As a result of the accident, Ms. Hall
sustained injuries and sought medical treatment. Pursuant to
the terms of Ms. Hall's auto policy, Farm Bureau paid Ms.
Hall a $5, 000.00 medical payment and thereupon, became
subrogated to Ms. Hall's claim for up to $5, 000.00.
See Egros v. Pempton, 606 So.2d 780, 784
(La. 1992). The policy provides: "If we make any payment
under this policy and the person to or for whom payment is
made has a right to recover damages from another, we shall be
subrogated to that right. However, our right to recover is
subordinate to the insured's right to be fully
February 17, 2016, Farm Bureau notified Shelter of the $5,
000.00 medical payment and its status as Ms. Hall's
subrogee and requested reimbursement. Farm Bureau again
notified Shelter of its subrogated interest, requesting
reimbursement on July 11, 2016, and October 18, 2016.
Farm Bureau notified Shelter of its subrogation claim, Ms.
Hall instituted a personal injury action against Ashley
Burkett-individually and on behalf of her minor daughter,
Katherine Burkett-and Shelter on May 19, 2016, seeking
damages for her injuries allegedly sustained as a result of
the automobile accident. Farm Bureau did not intervene in that
suit to collect the $5, 000.00 medical payment it paid to Ms.
on December 12, 2016, Farm Bureau filed a petition for
subrogation against Shelter and the Burketts, seeking
recovery of the $5, 000.00 medical payment it paid on behalf
of its insured, Ms. Hall. Farm Bureau claimed that it was
"subrogated, both conventionally and legally, to the
rights of its insureds to recover medical payment made to or
on behalf of its insured."
Farm Bureau had notified Shelter of its subrogation claim and
instituted the subrogation suit, Ms. Hall entered into a
receipt and release agreement with Shelter for the sum of
$53, 500.00 on March 20, 2017, in full settlement of her
personal injury claims. The language of that agreement stated
that the amount was intended to cover any and all known
damages (including property damage), physical injuries,
medical payments, medical expenses, and claims of any type.
The agreement also contained the following language:
Appearer further agrees to indemnify, hold harmless, and
defend the released parties against and from all further
claims, judgments, costs, expenses, and losses (including
attorney's fees) by reason of or that may be made or
asserted by her, or by anyone else on her behalf, because of
any loss or expenses suffered as a result of the
aforementioned incident. Such claims specifically include,
but are not limited to, those by way of lien, indemnity,
contribution, subrogation right, and/or assignment, asserted
or claimed by any third party on account of benefits or
services that have been or may be provided to or for Appearer
as a result of the alleged incident described above, or
otherwise. It is the intention of Appearer to release and
hold harmless the released parties from all liens,
encumbrances, debts, or obligations which are now or may be
hereafter filed or asserted in connection with any expenses
incurred by or on behalf of Appearer. Appearer hereby
represents that she will defend and hold harmless the
released parties from any such liens or interventions which
have been or may be asserted by any person or entity.
settlement, Shelter and the Burketts filed a motion for
summary judgment in the subrogation suit instituted by Farm
Bureau, arguing that Ms. Hall's receipt and release
agreement with Shelter released the defendants from any and
all liability for Ms. Hall's personal injury claims,
including medical payments and medical expenses. Farm Bureau
opposed the motion, to which the defendants filed a reply.
Following a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment
in favor of Shelter and the Burketts, dismissing ...