Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moore v. Home Depot USA, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

November 9, 2018

STEVEN MOORE, ET AL.
v.
HOME DEPOT USA, INC., ET AL.

          RULING AND ORDER

          JUDGE BRIAN A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Before the Court are Plaintiffs Steven and Renee Moore's Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 223, 224) the Counterclaims (Docs. 164, 204) that Defendants Commercial Coolants and RLM Consulting have filed against them.[1] For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' Motions (Docs. 223, 224) are GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Steven Moore was electrocuted by an Entergy-owned powerline suspended above a Home Depot parking lot. (Doc. 1-2). At the time, he was delivering supplies to Home Depot for use in a construction project. (Id.). He and his wife sued Home Depot and Entergy for negligence. (Id.). Entergy then impleaded the manager of the project, RLM Consulting, and a subcontractor on the project, Commercial Coolants, claiming indemnity under the Louisiana Overhead Power Line Safety Act, Louisiana Revised Statutes 45:141 through 45:146. (Doc. 37).

         Entergy alleges that RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants violated the Overhead Power Line Safety Act because they did not notify Entergy of a plan to work within ten feet of Entergy's high voltage overhead power line. (Doc. 37, ¶ 7). Entergy also alleges that RLM Consulting's and Commercial Coolants' violations of the Overhead Power Line Safety Act caused Steven Moore's electrocution. (Id. at ¶ 8). And Entergy concludes that the Overhead Power Line Safety Act requires RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants to pay Entergy the costs it has incurred defending this lawsuit. (Id. at ¶ 9).

         After Entergy impleaded RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants, Plaintiffs amended their Complaint to allege negligence claims against both parties. (Doc. 50). RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants then counterclaimed against Plaintiffs for indemnity. (Docs. 164, 204). The Counterclaims are nearly identical: both allege that Steven Moore violated the Overhead Power Line Safety Act, and that if Entergy receives a judgment against RLM Consulting or Commercial Coolants under the Overhead Power Line Safety Act, then Plaintiffs must indemnify RLM Consulting or Commercial Coolants. (Docs. 164, ¶ 9; 204, ¶ 12).

         Plaintiffs now move to dismiss the Counterclaims for failure to state plausible indemnity claims.[2] (Docs. 223, 224). Plaintiffs argue that because the Overhead Power Line Safety Act creates a remedy only for "owner[s]" or "operator[s]" of "high voltage power line[s]," and because neither RLM Consulting nor Commercial Coolants alleges that it is an "owner" or "operator" of a "high voltage power line," the Counterclaims fail to state plausible indemnity claims. (Docs. 223-1, 224-1). RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants disagree. (Docs. 270, 272). They filed separate opposition briefs raising the same three-part argument: (1) the Overhead Power Line Safety Act permits Entergy to collect all of its damages from any party that has violated the Act; (2) Steven Moore violated the Overhead Power Line Safety Act; (3) if either RLM Consulting or Commercial Coolants is adjudged to have violated the Act, and Entergy elects to collect all of its damages from either party, then the party which paid Entergy is entitled to indemnity from Plaintiffs. (Docs. 270 at p. 4; 272 at p. 2).[3]

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         To overcome Plaintiffs' Motions to Dismiss, RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants must plead plausible claims for relief. Romero v. City of Grapevine, Tex., 888 F.3d 170, 176 (5th Cir. 2018) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A claim is plausible if it is pleaded with factual content that allows the Court to reasonably infer that Plaintiffs are liable for the misconduct alleged. Edionwe v. Bailey, 860 F.3d 287, 291 (5th Cir. 2017) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). The Court accepts as true the well-pleaded facts of the Counterclaims and views those facts in the light most favorable to RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants. Midwest Feeders, Inc. v. Bank of Franklin, 886 F.3d 507, 513 (5th Cir. 2018).

         III. DISCUSSION

         RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants do not explain the source(s) of their indemnity claims. (Docs. 164, 204). So the Court considers both statutory and tort indemnity to decide if RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants have pleaded plausible counterclaims for indemnity.

         A. Statutory Indemnity

         The Overhead Power Line Safety Act does not create an indemnity cause of action in favor of RLM Consulting or Commercial Coolants. See La. R.S. 45:144. The Act grants only "owner[s]" or "operator [s]" of "high voltage overhead line[s]" the right to sue. LA. R.S. 45:144(A). Neither RLM Consulting nor Commercial Coolants alleges that it is an "owner" or "operator" of a "high voltage overhead line." (Docs. 164, 204). Nor can they. (Id.). RLM Consulting is a construction project management company; Commercial Coolants is a contractor. (Id.). Neither is in the utility business. (Id.). Thus, RLM Consulting and Commercial Coolants cannot plead plausible counterclaims for statutory indemnity under the Overhead Power Line Safety Act.

         B. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.