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Salton v. Joiner

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

November 15, 2018

ELTONEZ SALTON, ET AL.
v.
GREGORY ALAN JOINER, ET AL.

          CAROL WHITEHURST MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a diversity case arising from a motor vehicle accident in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Jherri Thomas' (“Thomas”)[1] Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 26]. Thomas moves the Court for summary judgment on medical causation and liability. Specifically, she contends that a “surgery recommendation and medical treatment [were] causally related and made necessary by the subject accident of February 26, 2016, that the costs and charges for same were medically necessary and reasonable and that Defendants [are] liable for same.” [Doc. No. 26, ¶ 8]. After the filing of the instant motion, Thomas, Ports and Old Republic stipulated to liability. [Doc. No. 28]. Defendants also timely filed a memorandum in opposition to the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 29]. Thomas did not file a reply, and the deadline for doing so has passed.

         To the extent that Thomas moves for partial summary judgment on liability, the motion is DENIED AS MOOT. For the following reasons, the motion is otherwise DENIED.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of a February 22, 2016, motor vehicle accident between a tractor-trailer operated by Gregory Joiner (“Joiner”) and a school bus occupied by Thomas as a passenger. Joiner was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Ports Petroleum Company (“Ports”), and the tractor-trailer was insured by Old Republic Insurance Company (“Old Republic”).

         This lawsuit was filed against Joiner, Ports, and Republic, but the claims against Joiner were subsequently dismissed because of Thomas' failure to serve him. [Doc. No. 20].

         On October 3, 2018, plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Causation and Liability. [Doc. No. 26]. As to medical causation, Thomas contends:

4. As a result of this accident, Jherri Thomas required medical attention which included chiropractic care by Recovery ChiroMed, Barczyk Chiropractic, had several MRI's, underwent several Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI) performed by Dr. George Williams, Orthopaedic Surgeon.
5. Dr. Williams' medical opinion relates to Jherri Thomas need for continued treatment and the treatment that has been provided to her, by medical providers along with the associated costs, to the accident of February 26, 2016 (Exhibit "A", Affidavit of Dr. George Williams).

[Doc. No. 26]. In her supporting memorandum, Thomas further contends that she is entitled to summary judgment on causation because Dr. George Williams opined that the “conservative treatment was reasonable, and directly made necessary by the injuries . . . Thomas sustained in the accident of February 26, 2016.” [Doc. No. 26-4].

         Thomas' motion also addresses liability.

         On October 24, 2018, Thomas, Port, and Old Republic stipulated to Defendants' liability. [Doc. No. 28].

         On October 24, 2018, Defendants filed an opposition memorandum to the instant motion. Defendants point out that the liability aspect of the motion is moot, but oppose the motion on medical causation. Defendants ...


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