IRIS NELL SPINKS JOURDAN, ROBIN RENE JOURDAN AND MISTY MICHELLE JOURDAN APPE
ALLMERICA FINANCIAL BENEFIT INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL
Appealed from the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court In
and for the Parish of Washington State of Louisiana Suit
Number 110195 Honorable Donald M. Fendlason, Presiding
Macaluso Hammond, LA Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellees Iris
Nell Spinks Jourdan, Robin Rene Jourdan Smith, and Misty
Michelle Jourdan Appe
M. Benson Mandeville, LA Counsel for Defendant/Appellant
Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange
BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND PENZATO, JJ.
Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange (Federated),
appeals from a trial court judgment granting summary judgment
in favor of plaintiffs, Iris Nell Spinks Jourdan, Robin Rene
Jourdan Smith, and Misty Michelle Jourdan Appe, ruling that
the uninsured motorist coverage of the All Risk Blanket
Policy issued by Federated provides uninsured motorist
coverage to the plaintiffs. For the reasons that follow, we
reverse and remand.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
March 8, 2016, Lawrence "Cotton" Jourdan was a
member of the Board of Directors of Washington St. Tammany
Electric Co-Operative, Inc. (Co-Op). Following a board
meeting at the Co-Op's office in Franklinton, Louisiana,
the board members met for dinner at Fair City Cafe. Jourdan
had ridden to the board meeting with another board member,
Dennis Glass, so he rode with Glass to the cafe. Glass parked
his vehicle in a parking lot across the street from the cafe.
While walking across the street from the parking lot to the
cafe, Jourdan was struck by a vehicle driven by Karen Spears.
Jourdan sustained serious injuries as a result of the
accident, and he later died as a result of his injuries.
on December 8, 2016, plaintiffs, Jourdan's surviving
spouse and adult children, filed a petition for damages,
naming Spears, her insurer, Allmerica Financial Benefit
Insurance Company, and Federated, the insurer of the Co-Op,
as defendants. Particularly, with regard to Federated,
plaintiffs alleged that Federated had issued an All Risk
Blanket Policy (All Risk policy) to the Co-Op, which named
Directors of the Co-Op as insureds under the policy. As such,
plaintiffs asserted that the All Risk policy included
uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) benefits, which provide
coverage to Jourdan and the plaintiffs because Jourdan was in
the course and scope of his duties and responsibilities as a
member of the Board of Directors of the Co-Op at the time of
2, 2017, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment,
seeking a declaration from the trial court that the Federated
policy provides UM coverage to the plaintiffs for the
accident at issue. Federated also filed a motion for summary
judgment as to coverage, seeking dismissal of plaintiffs'
claims against it because there is no coverage afforded to
Jourdan and/or the plaintiffs for the accident in question
under the All Risk policy issued to the Co-Op.
a hearing on the parties' motions, the trial court signed
a judgment denying Federated's motion for summary
judgment and granting plaintiffs' motion, ordering that
the UM coverage of the All Risk policy issued by Federated to
the Co-Op provides coverage to the plaintiffs. The trial
court designated the judgment as final in accordance with La.
C.C.P. art. 968. Federated now appeals from the trial
trial court's judgment, granting summary judgment in
favor of the plaintiffs on the issue of UM coverage, is a
partial judgment. See La. C.C.P. art. 966(E). A partial
summary judgment rendered pursuant to Article 966(E) may be
immediately appealed during ongoing litigation only if it has
been properly designated as a final judgment by the trial
court. La. C.C.P. art. 1915(B). Article 1915(B) authorizes
the appeal of a partial summary judgment as to "one or
more but less than all of the claims, demands, issues, or
theories" presented where the judgment is designated as
a final judgment by the trial court after a determination
that there is no just reason for delay.
instant case, the trial court designated the judgment as a
final judgment, but it did not designate that there was no
just reason for delay. Accordingly, we are required to
conduct a de novo review of the propriety of the
trial court's designation. See Motorola v. Associated
Indemnity Corporation, 02-1351, p. 16 (La.App. 1st Cir.
10/22/03), 867 So.2d 723, 732; see also Parker
v. Zurich American Insurance Company, 16-0442, p. 12
(La.App. 1st Cir. 12/22/16) (unpublished opinion). After
consideration of the relevant factors for such review in the
context of the coverage dispute, we find that the trial
court's designation was indeed appropriate, and we
therefore have jurisdiction over this appeal. See Machen
v. Bivens, 04-0396, p. 3 (La.App. 1st Cir. 2/11/05), 906
So.2d 468, 471.