ARTHUR ETIENNE, JR.
C. THOMPSON AUTOMOTIVE, INC., ET AL
FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ACADIA,
No. 2014-0446 HONORABLE EDWARD RUBIN, DISTRICT JUDGE
RENEE ALEX ALEX & ASSOCIATES COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT ARTHUR ETIENNE, JR.
KRISTIN L. BECKMAN BARASSO USDIN KUPPERMAN FREEMAN &
SARVER, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE PEERLESS INSURANCE
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, D. Kent Savoie, and
Jonathan W. Perry, Judges.
JONATHAN W. PERRY JUDGE.
plaintiff, Arthur Etienne, Jr. ("Etienne"), appeals
the adequacy of the general damages the trial court awarded
him on a judgment by default. Finding no abuse of discretion,
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
27, 2013, Etienne was involved in a motorcycle accident.
Within a year of the accident, Etienne filed suit against C.
Thompson Automotive, Inc. ("Thompson Automotive"),
contending Thompson Automotive defectively manufactured his
motorcycle and he suffered injuries as a result of that
manufacturing defect. In his initial petition, Etienne
alleged that Thompson Automotive had a liability policy with
"XYZ Insurance Company." Later, Etienne amended his
petition, replacing "XYZ Insurance Company" with
Peerless Insurance Company ("Peerless"). Service
was made on Thompson Automotive and Peerless through
Louisiana's long-arm statute, on June 2, 2014 and October
21, 2014, respectively.
February 9, 2017, Etienne moved for a preliminary default
against Thompson Automotive and Peerless. Later, on February
26, 2018, the trial court entered a final default judgment
against both Thompson Automotive and Peerless. After hearing
Etienne's testimony about the circumstances of his
accident and his injuries, the trial court awarded general
damages of $7, 000.00 and medical expenses of $2, 219.12 but
declined to award damages for lost wages because it was
"not satisfied that [Etienne] met [his] burden."
April 23, 2018, Etienne timely filed a motion for appeal.
Peerless filed an answer to Etienne's appeal on October
OF PEERLESS'S ANSWER TO THE APPEAL
outset, we must determine if Peerless timely filed its answer
to the appeal.
Code of Civil Procedure Article 2133 provides that an
appellee seeking to have the judgment modified, revised, or
reversed must file an answer to the appeal not later than
fifteen days after the return date or the lodging of the
record, whichever is later. This court mailed a notice of
lodging to the parties on September 17, 2018, making the
answer due on October 2, 2018.
the answer was due within fifteen days of the return date,
which the trial court set "according to law." The
timing of the return date is governed by La.Code Civ.P. art.
2125, which provides that when there is testimony to be
transcribed, the return date is forty-five days from the date
estimated costs are paid. As the Deputy Appeals
Clerk for Acadia Parish confirmed in correspondence to this
court, Etienne paid the estimated costs on July 8, 2018. As a
result, the return ...