FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 2015-3343 HONORABLE RONALD F. WARE, DISTRICT
Gregory Paul Marceaux Marceaux Law Firm COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Randal Boudreaux
I. Siegel Michael Edward Hill Tara E. Clement Gieger, Laborde
& Laperouse, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT:
Commerce and Industry Insurance Company
composed of Billy Howard Ezell, Phyllis M. Keaty, and Van H.
HOWARD EZELL JUDGE.
and Industry Insurance Company appeals a trial court judgment
which granted a partial motion for summary judgment in favor
of Randal Boudreaux and denied its motion for summary
judgment. The trial court determined that Randal was a
permissive user when he was driving a truck owned by owned by
AES Drilling Fluids, LLC, which was covered by an
uninsured/underinsured (UM) insurance policy issued by
Commerce. The issue raised on appeal is whether Randal's
son, Micah Boudreaux, had the authority to give permission to
Randal to drive the truck.
worked for AES and was given a truck to use as part of his
job. On April 2, 2015, Micah was working on the water well at
his house in Lake Charles. His father was living with him at
the time, so he asked his father to take the truck and go to
Lowe's to get some parts he needed. While at Lowe's,
Randal ran into a friend who needed a ride home. Randal was
on his way to drop the friend off when he stopped south of
the intersection of Common Street and Madeline Street and was
rear-ended by Keigan Hanks. Randal alleges he received
injuries because of the accident.
filed suit against Keigan and her insurer, State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Company. He also filed suit against
Commerce, the UM insurer of AES. Subsequently, AES filed a
motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal from the
lawsuit. Randal then filed a partial motion for summary
judgment claiming that he is an insured under the Commerce
policy as a permissive driver.
hearing on the cross motions for summary judgment was held on
November 28, 2017. Denying Commerce's motion for summary
judgment and granting Randal's partial motion for summary
judgment, the trial court held that Randal was a permissive
user under the Commerce insurance policy. Judgment was signed
on January 3, 2018, declaring the judgment to be a final
judgment. Commerce then appealed the judgment to this court.
moving party is entitled to summary judgment when it shows
that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that it
is "entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
La.Code Civ.P. art. 966(A)(3). Summary judgment is favored by
law and provides a vehicle by which "the just, speedy,
and inexpensive determination" of an action may be
achieved. La.Code Civ.P. art. 966(A)(2).
Appellate courts review summary judgments de novo under the
same criteria that govern a district court's
consideration of whether summary judgment is appropriate.
Greemon v. City of Bossier City, 2010-2828 (La.
7/1/11), 65 So.3d 1263, 1267; Samaha v. Rau,
2007-1726 (La. 2/26/08), 977 So.2d 880, 882; Allen v.
State ex rel. Ernest N. Morial-New Orleans Exhibition Hall
Authority, 2002-1072 (La. 4/9/03), 842 So.2d 373, 377.
In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the judge's
role is not to evaluate the weight of the evidence or to
determine the truth of the matter, but instead to determine
whether there is a genuine issue of triable fact. All doubts
should be resolved in the non-moving party's favor.
Hines v. Garrett, 2004-0806 (La. 6/25/04), 876 So.2d
764, 765. A fact is material if it potentially ensures or
precludes recovery, affects a litigant's ultimate
success, or determines the outcome of the legal dispute. A
genuine issue is one as to which reasonable persons could
disagree; if reasonable persons could reach only one
conclusion, there is no need for a trial on that issue and
summary judgment is appropriate. Id. at 765-66.
On motion for summary judgment, the burden of proof remains
with the movant. However, if the moving party will not bear
the burden of proof on the issue at trial and points out that
there is an absence of factual support for one or more
elements essential to the adverse party's claim, action,
or defense, then the non-moving party must produce factual
support sufficient to establish that he will be able to
satisfy his evidentiary burden of proof at trial. If the
opponent of the motion fails to do so, there is no genuine
issue of material fact and ...