FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 2017-4939 HONORABLE DAVID A. RITCHIE, DISTRICT
E. Loftin, Jr., Brian M. Bradford, Loftin, Cain &
LeBlanc, L.L.C., Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellees: Chad East,
L. Clary, Quilling, Selander, Lownds, Winslett & Moser,
P.C., Counsel for Defendant/Appellee: RLI Insurance Company.
Jennifer A. Fiore, Dunlap Fiore, LLC, Counsel for
Defendants/Appellants: John J. Capdevielle, Patricia
Capdevielle, John J. Capdevielle, II, Architect, LLC.
Minor Pipes, III John W. Joyce, Barrasso, Usdin, Kupperman,
Freeman & Sarver, L.L.C., Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant: Ohio Security Insurance. Company.
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, John D.
Saunders, and D. Kent Savoie, Judges.
D. SAUNDERS, JUDGE.
issue presented in this case is whether the evidence
introduced by Plaintiffs against an insurance carrier to
confirm a default judgment was sufficient to establish a
prima facie showing of liability coverage. For the reasons
that follow, we reverse the confirmation of default and
vacate the judgment against the insurance carrier.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:
breach of contract case, Appellees, Chad and Crystal East,
("Easts") sued their architect, Appellee, John J.
Capdeville, II, his firm, and his wife, for failing to
produce appropriate architectural plans that they contend
they paid for. The Easts also sued Ohio Security Insurance
Company ("OSIC"), which allegedly issued a
commercial general liability policy to the architect, and RLI
Insurance Company, which allegedly issued a professional
liability policy to the architect and his firm. OSIC did not
file responsive pleadings.
March 6, 2018, the Easts obtained a preliminary default
against OSIC. The default was confirmed on March 13, 2018. In
confirming the default, the Easts submitted proof of
insurance, rather than the OSIC policy, to support a prima
facie showing of liability coverage. It is from this judgment
that OSIC appeals.
OF THE MERITS:
sole assignment of error, OSIC argues that the trial court
erred in confirming the default judgment because the Easts
did not establish their prima facie case with respect to
insurance coverage because they did not submit the OSIC
policy into evidence at the confirmation hearing. We agree.
appellate court reviews default judgments under the manifest
error standard of review. Arias v. Stolthaven New
Orleans, L.L.C. 08-1111 (La. 5/5/09), 9 So.3d
815. In performing that review, the appellate court is
restricted to determining ...