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McCloskey v. Higman Barge Lines, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

April 10, 2019

JOSEPH MCCLOSKEY, MATTHEW SQUYRES AND ALLEN ROBERTS
v.
HIGMAN BARGE LINES, INC., ET AL

          APPEAL FROM ST. BERNARD 34TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT NO. 14-1303, DIVISION "A" Honorable Robert A. Buckley, Judge

          Steven J. Rando LAW OFFICE OF STEVEN J. RANDO, L.L.C. Colin J. Lagarde LAGARDE LAW, L.L.C Richard Charles Stanley Eva J. Dossier STANLEY REUTER ROSS THORNTON & ALFORD, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE

          Patrick J. McShane Lara N. Dicristina R. Patrick Ray FRILOT, L.L.C COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT

          Court composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Tiffany G. Chase

          TIFFANY G. CHASE JUDGE

         This matter involves a dispute over damages awarded as a result of a personal injury incident. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London (hereinafter "Lloyd's of London"), the excess insurer, challenges the amount of damages the trial court awarded for past medical expenses. The plaintiffs answer on appeal, contesting certain elements of the trial court's award. After consideration of the record before this Court, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Facts and Procedural History

         Joseph McCloskey, Matthew Squyres and Allen Roberts were involved in an automobile accident on July 9, 2014.[1] While traveling westbound on Interstate 10, in St. Bernard Parish, plaintiffs' vehicle was rear ended by a truck owned by Higman Barge Lines, Inc. After granting plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability, the trial court reserved the issues of causation and damages for trial.

         A five day bench trial began on December 11, 2017. On the last day of trial, Diagnostic Management Affiliates, Preferred Provider Organization, LLC (hereinafter "DMA"), a non-party, filed a motion to quash a trial subpoena issued to DMA. In the alternative, DMA sought a protective order. Specifically, DMA requested that the trial court preclude testimony and production of documentation, sought by Lloyd's of London, regarding payments between DMA and its contracted physicians. A hearing was held January 16, 2018, on the motion to quash. By judgment dated January 31, 2018, the trial court granted DMA's motion finding testimony and production of documentation from DMA is precluded by the collateral source rule.

         After taking the merits of the matter under advisement, the trial court entered judgment on August 2, 2018, in favor of plaintiffs.[2] Specifically, the trial court's award is as follows:[3]Mr. McCloskey, Jr.

         Past medical expenses…………………$ 462, 296.33

         Future medical expenses………………$ 453, 281.00

         Past wages………………..……..……. $ 33, 381.00

         Future wages……………...………….. $ 156, 245.00

         General damages…………....………....$ 1, 600, 000.00

         Mr. Squyres

         Past medical expenses……….…………$ 170, 641.56

         Future medical expenses……….………$ 35, 000.00

         Past wages…………………………….. $ 0

          Future wages…………….…….……….$ 0

         General ...


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