United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
J&J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
LIQUOR U.S. UP L.L.C., ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
J. BARBIER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a Motion for Partial Judgment on the
Pleadings (Rec. Doc. 18) filed by
Defendants, Emile Colona and Shirley Little, and an
opposition thereto (Rec. Doc. 19) filed by Plaintiff, J&J
Sports Productions, Inc. Having considered the motion and
legal memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the
Court finds that the motion should be
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
litigation arises from the May 2, 2015 reception and display
at Castaways Lounge in Hammond, Louisiana of the televised
fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. J&J
Sports Production, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) is a
California corporation and distributor of closed circuit
pay-per view boxing and special events in the United
States. After allegedly hiring a private investigator to
capture video footage of the events that transpired at
Castaways Lounge on the date in question, Plaintiff filed the
instant suit against Liquor Us Up, L.L.C. d/b/a Castaways
Lounge, Emile Colona, and Shirley Little (collectively
“Defendants”). Plaintiff's Complaint
indicates that Liquor Us Up, L.L.C. (“the LLC”)
is a Louisiana limited liability company doing business as
Castaways Lounge. Colona and Little-both Louisiana
domiciliaries-are the LLC's sole members.
alleges that Defendants committed certain acts and omissions
that violated Plaintiff's rights as the exclusive
commercial domestic distributor of the televised fight
program at issue. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants' actions were in violation of Title 47 U.S.C.
Section 605, Title 18 U.S.C. sections 2511 and 2250, and
Title 47 U.S.C. Section 553(a)(1), (c)(1), (2), (B), (C),
3(A), (B)). Colona and Little filed the instant motion for
partial judgment on the pleadings (Rec. Doc. 18), which
Plaintiff opposes (Rec. Doc. 19).
and Little argue that this Court should grant judgment on the
pleadings in their favor and dismiss them from the instant
lawsuit with prejudice because Plaintiff's pleadings fail
to state a cause of action against them in their individual
capacity sufficient to pierce the corporate veil in
Louisiana. (Rec. Doc. 18).
and Little first aver that Terry Couch, the manager of
Castaways Lounge, ordered the pay-per view fight at issue
through the Charter Communications cable box located in the
bar room. (Rec. Doc. 18-1 at 1). Colona and Little allege
that Terry Couch believed that ordering the fight on the
cable box that was installed in the business was
“sufficient and proper.” (Rec. Doc. 18-1 at 1).
Colona and Little note that although the private detective
who Plaintiff dispatched to Castaways Lounge recorded the
activities that occurred at the bar on the evening in
question, the video does not show Colona and Little-the LLC
members-anywhere on the premises. (Rec. Doc. 18-1 at 1, 2).
and Little go on to argue that under the Louisiana Supreme
Court's decision in Ogea v. Travis Merritt &
Merritt Construction, LLC, 130 So.3d 888 (La. 2013), the
general rule in Louisiana is that “no member, manager,
employee, or agent of a limited liability company is liable
in such capacity for a debt, obligation, or liability of the
limited liability company UNLESS fraud, breach of
professional duty, or other negligent or wrongful act was
committed by the member.” (Rec. Doc. 18-1 at 3). Colona
and Little assert that Plaintiff cannot maintain an action
against them as members of the LLC because Plaintiff has not
shown that Colona and Little committed fraud, a breach of
professional duty, or some other negligent or wrongful act in
accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 12:1320(D). (Rec.
Doc. 18-1 at 5). Specifically, Colona and Little aver that
(1) Plaintiff's pleadings contain no allegation of fraud,
(2) the professional liability exception is not applicable,
and (3) Colona and Little did not commit a negligent or
wrongful act because they were not present at Castaways
Lounge on the evening of the fight program. (Rec. Doc. 18-1
at 5 to 7). Thus, Colona and Little conclude that they should
be dismissed from the present action with prejudice and at
Plaintiff's cost. (Rec. Doc. 18-1 at 7).
argues that Colona and Little's motion should be denied.
(Rec. Doc. 19). First, Plaintiff asserts that the LLC,
Colona, and Little committed the intentional tort of
conversion. (Rec. Doc. 19-1 at 2). Plaintiff notes that there
was no contractual or other obligation between Plaintiff and
Defendants, Colona and Little acted on behalf of the LLC, and
Colona and Little knew that Plaintiff's fight program was
going to be shown at Castaways Lounge on May 2, 2015. (Rec.
Doc. 19-1 at 2, 3). Plaintiff points to the allegations in
its Complaint that Colona and Little “planned in
advance to show the [televised fight program] on the
defendant limited liability company's premises and they
were prepared to obtain as much income as possible from
alcohol served to their customers.” (Rec. Doc. 19-1 at
3). Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that Colona and Little
“actively desired to obtain [Plaintiff's]
[televised fight program] without having to pay
[Plaintiff's] license fee.” (Rec. Doc. 19-1 at 4).
Plaintiff argues that the televised fight program was used to
attract customers to Castaways Lounge to drink alcoholic
beverages and patronize Colona and Little's business.
(Rec. Doc. 19-1 at 4). Plaintiff emphasizes that as members
of the LLC, Colona and Little had the same “economic
motives” as the LLC; namely, to create an atmosphere
that enticed customers to visit the business and spend money.
(Rec. Doc. 19-1 at 4, 5). In support of this contention,
Plaintiff points to the allegation in its Complaint that
“Defendants advertised that they ...