FROM THE THIRTY-SIXTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
BEAUREGARD, NO. C-2016-0959-A HONORABLE MARTHA ANN
O'NEAL, DISTRICT JUDGE
Scott Iles 1200 West University Avenue Lafayette, LA 70506
P.O. Box 3385 Lafayette, LA 70502 (337) 234-8800 COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: Cody Parker
Richard J. Petre, Jr. Onebane Law Firm P.O. Box 3507
Lafayette, LA 70502-3507 (337) 237-2660 COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT-APPELLEE American Western Home Insurance Company
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R.
Cooks, and Marc T. Amy, Judges.
R. COOKS JUDGE.
Cody Parker appeals the trial court's grant of summary
judgment in favor of the insurer, American Western Home
Insurance Company, finding the business exclusion contained
in its policy did not provide coverage for Plaintiff's
injuries. Finding summary judgment was improperly granted in
this case, we reverse the trial court's judgment and
remand for further proceedings.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
facts establish Mike Blakly purchased the mobile home in
question approximately ten years prior to the occurrence of
the subject accident. Blakly lived in the mobile home until
sometime in 2015. At that time, Blakly refinanced the mobile
home and land on which it rested to acquire different
property. Blakly and his wife, Deborah Armentor, then moved
to that property.
mobile home remained "empty for a few months,"
until Blakly's daughter, Imarie Blakly, began living
there. She lived in the mobile home for approximately six
months. There was testimony that a rental agreement was
signed by Imarie, although she did not pay rent. Blakly
testified he prepared a rental agreement for his daughter
because "[s]he wanted one[.]" Blakly further
testified when Imarie's boyfriend began living there,
Blakly expected to receive rent. Blakly ultimately had the
couple evicted from the mobile home for failure to pay rent.
the eviction of Imarie and her boyfriend, Jeromie and Krissi
McCann became aware of the empty trailer and inquired to a
friend as to its availability. Eventually they were given
Blakly's number and contacted him in regard to the mobile
home. The McCanns maintained they discussed renting the
mobile home, with the intent to purchase. There was a
"Rent to Own Lease Agreement" prepared, which
contemplated a purchase price conditioned on Blakly's
financing and interest rate. The agreement stated in part,
"[t]he total price for the property is $46, 000.00
unless the rate of interest is changed when seller refinances
balloon note on November 5, 2018. At this time the seller and
buyer will renegotiate to satisfy the original bank note
due." The contemplated rent-to-own agreement also
required a non-refundable fee deposit of $7, 000.00.
rental agreement signed contained the following language as
to the rent due:
Monthly Rental will be paid on the 1st of each
month in the sum of $600.00 which $530.00 will be applied to
the price agreed on in section 2 of the leases when criteria
is met and agreed to at that time.
If Rent to own is not fulfilled it will not be applied to
ownership of property as in section two.
parties ultimately signed a "Month to Month Rental
Agreement" on January 31, 2016, which set forth a
$600.00 monthly rental fee. The McCanns paid $5, 000.00 of a
requested $7, 000.00 deposit on February 18, 2016. Krissi
McCann testified Blakly was informed the $5, 000.00 was all
they could afford and believed this deposit would apply to
the understood rent-to-own arrangement. The McCanns believed
upon paying all mortgage debt on the property, they would own
the premises, including the mobile home. According to the
Jeromie McCann there was no question they were "planning
on buying the place from [Blakly] until he decided he wanted
to take some of the land and move onto it during his
testimony established that after the McCanns moved into the
mobile home in February of 2016 (the testimony is conflicting
on the exact date), Blakly moved back on to the 3.17 acres
upon which the mobile home was located. He apparently stayed
in a shed which he purchased after he and his wife separated.
Jeromie McCann testified that when Blakly moved onto the
property, they decided not to go forward with the purchase.
The McCanns took the position the parties agreed the $5,
000.00 deposit they paid should go toward rent owed. Blakly
insisted the deposit was not meant to apply to rent.
to Jeromie, Blakly began telling him in July of 2016 that
they needed to leave his premises. On October 25, 2016,
Blakly issued a Notice to Vacate to the McCanns. A Rule to
Evict was issued on November 16, 2016, and the matter was
heard before the district court on November 28, 2016. The
trial judge made the following comment at trial:
This is the problem with people that don't go to lawyers
to get their legal work done or approved. You've got a
document here that's sort of three different things all