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Price v. Chain Electric Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

November 28, 2018

CLYDE PRICE AND HIS WIFE MARY PRICE
v.
CHAIN ELECTRIC COMPANY AND ENTERGY CORPORATION AND/OR ITS AFFILIATE

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 733-430, DIVISION "D" HONORABLE SCOTT U.SCHLEGEL, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CLYDE PRICE AND HIS WIFE MARY PRICE Victor J. Woods, Jr.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, ENTERGY CORPORATION AND ENTERGY LOUISIANA, L.L.C. Ernest P. Gieger, Jr., Emily E. Eagan

          Panel composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Hans J. Liljeberg, and John J. Molaison, Jr.

          MARC E. JOHNSON JUDGE

         Plaintiffs, Clyde and Mary Price, appeal the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of Defendant, Entergy Louisiana, L.L.C. ("ELL"), finding that ELL was Mr. Price's statutory employer and dismissing Plaintiffs' tort claims against ELL on the basis that Plaintiffs' exclusive remedy against ELL is in workers' compensation. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This is Plaintiffs' second appeal. The first appeal was likewise from the trial court's granting of summary judgment in favor of ELL. However, this Court reversed the ruling and remanded for further proceedings on the basis that certain exhibits were not properly admitted into evidence for purposes of summary judgment and, thus, ELL failed to prove it was entitled to summary judgment. See Price v. Chain Electric Co., 16-597 (La.App. 5 Cir. 4/12/17); 216 So.3d 388. On remand, ELL filed a second motion for summary judgment, which was granted on October 10, 2017 after a hearing. Plaintiffs now seek review of that judgment.

         The facts have not changed since the first appeal, in which we set out the facts as follows:

On June 9, 2005, Chain Electric Company ("Chain") and Entergy Services, Inc. ("ESI") entered into a written agreement, entitled "Entergy Systemwide Multipurpose Maintenance, Modification and Construction General Services Agreement" ("the Agreement"), bearing contract number 10092965. Pursuant to the Agreement, ESI and Chain agreed that any "affiliate" of ESI could issue Contract Orders to Chain requesting Chain's services. The parties further agreed that any and all Contract Orders issued by an affiliate were deemed to incorporate the provisions of the Agreement. The Agreement provides that an affiliate that issues a Contract Order to Chain is recognized as the statutory employer of Chain's employees.
On June 1, 2011, Chain and ELL entered into a Contract Order, bearing contract number 10318822 and providing that Chain would perform services for ELL, commencing on June 1, 2011 and ending on May 31, 2013. This Contract Order indicates that it was issued pursuant to the Agreement, number 10092965, between ESI and Chain.
On November 28, 2012, while working as an employee of Chain, Clyde Price was assisting with excavation and trenching work for the purpose of adding additional line capacity for ELL. Mr. Price sustained injuries when an incident or "cave-in" occurred in the trench where he was working. On December 2, 2013, Mr. Price and his wife, Mary Price, filed this lawsuit against Chain, Entergy Corporation, and/or its affiliate, alleging that defendants were negligent by failing to ensure that proper safety procedures were followed.[1] Plaintiffs subsequently amended their petition to name ELL as a defendant, in lieu of Entergy Corporation.

Price, supra at 389-90.

         In its second motion for summary judgment filed on remand on July 6, 2017, ELL asserted that it was Mr. Price's statutory employer and, therefore, it was immune from tort claims because Plaintiffs' exclusive remedy was in workers' compensation. ELL argued that it was an affiliate of ESI and, therefore, the Contract Order between ELL and Chain Electric incorporated the Agreement ...


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