United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.
the court is a motion for partial summary judgment filed by
Pamela Ledet. (Doc. 34). Safelite Group, Inc. (Safelite)
filed an opposition to the motion, to which Ledet filed a
reply. For the following reasons, the motion will be DENIED.
lawsuit arises out of an automobile accident that occurred on
October 14, 2015. Pamela Ledet was stopped in the right,
southbound lane of Louisiana Highway 71, at the entrance to
the South Traffic Circle in Alexandria, Louisiana. Matthew
Burns, who was operating a vehicle as part of his employment
with Safelite, stopped directly behind Ledet. When Ledet
began moving forward, Burns looked to his left for oncoming
traffic, proceeded forward to enter the traffic circle, and,
not realizing Ledet stopped again, struck her vehicle from
October 7, 2017, Ledet filed suit in the 9th
Judicial District Court, Parish of Rapides, State of
Louisiana alleging she sustained back and neck injuries as a
result of the accident and demanding damages for past and
future physical and mental pain and suffering, loss of
income, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, and
physical disability. Safelite and ACE American Insurance
Company removed the lawsuit to this court on October 20,
October 23, 2018, Ledet amended her complaint to add
paragraph 1A which advised service was attempted on Defendant
Matthew Burns but he could not be located. Accordingly,
"[p]ursuant to LSA R.S. 22:1269, plaintiff asserts a
direct action against the defendants Safelite Group, Inc. and
ACE American Insurance Company." (Doc. 25, p.1).
February 20, 2019, Ledet filed this motion for summary
judgment seeking an assessment of 100% liability to Matthew
Burns. Safelite opposed the motion and Ledet filed a reply.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Summary Judgment Standard
"shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute of material fact is genuine if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anders on v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). We consider
"all evidence in the light most favorable to the party
resisting the motion." Seacor Holdings, Inc. v.
Commonwealth Ins. Co., 635 F.3d 680 (5th
Cir.2011) (internal citations omitted). It is important to
note that the standard for summary judgment is twofold: (1)
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and (2)
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
movant has the burden of pointing to evidence proving there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, or the absence
of evidence supporting the nonmoving party's case. Once
done, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to come
forward with evidence which demonstrates the essential
elements of his claim. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). The nonmoving party must
establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact
for trial by showing the evidence, when viewed in the light
most favorable to him, is sufficient to enable a reasonable
jury to render a verdict in his favor. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986); Duffy v. Leading
Edge Products. Inc., 44 F.3d 308, 312 (5th
Cir.1995). A party whose claims are challenged by a motion
for summary judgment may not rest on the allegations of the
complaint and must articulate specific factual allegations
which meet his burden of proof. Id. "Conclusory
allegations unsupported by concrete and particular facts will
not prevent an award of summary judgment."
Duffy, 44 F.2d at 312, citing Anderson v Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. at 247.
courts have uniformly held that a following motorist in a
rear-end collision is presumed to have breached the standard
of conduct prescribed in La.Rev.Stat.Ann. 32:81 and hence is
presumed negligent." Mart v. Hill, 505 So.2d
1120, 1123 (La. 1987). That is, the following motorist is
presumed to have breached his obligation "not to follow
another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent,
having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the
traffic upon and condition of the highway." LSA R.S.
32:81(A). The presumption may be rebutted under the sudden
emergency doctrine if the operator of the following vehicle
can prove "the driver of the lead car negligently
created a ...