ED STONE, ET AL.
ALLSTATE PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.
APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE SEVENTH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF CATAHOULA, NO. 28, 822 HONORABLE
KATHY A. JOHNSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
B. Rabalais Melvin A. Eiden Rabalais & Hebert COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Sentry Select Insurance Company
A. Roach Christopher S. Lacombe Larry A. Roach, Inc. COUNSEL
FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: Ed Stone, Individually and as duly
authorized agent of River City Logistics, Inc.
Christina S. Slay Bolen, Parker, Brenner, Lee &
Engelsman, APLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Allstate
Property and Casualty Insurance Company
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Shannon J.
Gremillion, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE.
Select Insurance Company (Sentry) seeks our exercise of
supervisory jurisdiction to reverse the trial court's
denial of its motion for summary judgment. Sentry also asks
in this application that we reverse the trial court's
grant of summary judgment in favor of Mr. Ed Stone. In a
consolidated matter, Ed Stone, et al. v. Allstate Prop.
and Cas. Ins. Co., 18-763, Sentry also appeals the trial
court's judgment in favor of Mr. Stone. For the reasons
that follow, we grant Sentry's application for
supervisory writs and make that grant peremptory.
AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
Denise McClendon is the president of River City Logistics,
Inc. In August 2015, she procured a policy of automobile
liability insurance from Sentry on behalf of River City
Logistics. Her agent, Mr. Don Pridgen, sent her a form for
the rejection of or selection of lower limits of
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM). Ms. McClendon
placed a check mark in the space beside the clause indicating
rejection of UM. She then signed and dated the form and
returned it to Mr. Pridgen. The agency called her and told
her she had to initial the space. The form was returned to
Ms. McClendon, who initialed in a space drawn by someone in
Mr. Pridgen's office immediately adjacent to the
April 28, 2016, an accident between a Peterbilt truck driven
by Mr. Stone and owned by River City Logistics, his employer,
and a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Mr. Stephen Card
allegedly occurred on U.S. Highway 84 east of Jonesville,
Louisiana. Mr. Stone sued Mr. Card, Allstate Property and
Casualty Insurance Company, Mr. Card's insurer, and
Sentry as River City Logistics' UM carrier for damages he
incurred in the accident.
filed a motion for summary judgment in which it asserted that
there was no UM. Sentry relied, in its motion, on an
affidavit executed by Ms. McClendon that affirmed her
authority to execute the UM waiver on River City
Logistics' behalf and recounts the events surrounding its
execution. Mr. Stone filed his own motion for summary
judgment and asserted that the policy did provide UM because
the UM waiver had not been properly executed. The trial court
denied Sentry's motion and granted Mr. Stone's.
Sentry then filed this application for supervisory writs and
an appeal of the judgment. We granted writs and determined
that, in the interests of judicial economy and efficiency, an
opinion from the court should be held in abeyance pending
briefing in the appeal. Stone v. Allstate Prop. and Cas.
Ins. Co., 18-547 (La.App. 3 Cir. 9/10/18) (unpublished
On appeal, summary judgments are reviewed de novo. Magnon
v. Collins, 98-2822 (La.7/7/99), 739 So.2d 191. Thus,
the appellate court asks the same questions the trial court
asks to determine whether summary judgment is appropriate.
Id. This inquiry seeks to determine whether any
genuine issues of material fact exist and whether the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. La.Code Civ.P.
art. 966(B) and (C). This means that judgment must be
rendered in favor of the movant if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file,
and affidavits show a lack of factual support for an
essential element of the opposing party's claim.
Id. If the opposing party cannot produce any
evidence to suggest that he will be able to meet his
evidentiary burden at trial, no genuine issues of material
fact exist. Id.
Material facts are those that determine the outcome of the
legal dispute. Soileau v. D & J Tire, Inc.,
97-318 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/8/97), 702 So.2d 818, writ
denied, 97-2737 (La.1/16/98), 706 So.2d 979. In deciding
whether facts are material to an action, we look to the
applicable substantive law. Id. Finally, summary
judgment procedure is favored and designed to secure the