Appealed from the 19th Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana Docket Number
622355 Honorable Todd Hernandez, Judge Presiding
Russell W. Beall William W. Thies Kenneth A. Doggett, Jr.
Jacob H. Thomas G. Aaron Humphreys Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant Charmane Manchester
L. Richardson Sean Avocato Baton Rouge, LA Counsel for
Defendants/Appellees, ANPAC Louisiana Insurance Company,
Michael Watson, and Heather Dawn Van Watson
BEFORE: WHIPPLE C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.
matter is before us on appeal by plaintiff, Charmane
Manchester, from a judgment of the district court dismissing
her claims in accordance with a verdict rendered by the jury
after a jury trial. For the following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
17, 2013, plaintiff filed suit for damages against Michael
Watson, Heather Dawn Van Watson, and ANPAC Louisiana
Insurance Company, the Watsons' homeowners insurer. In
her petition, plaintiff contended that on July 7, 2012, she
was at a garage sale on premises owned by the Watsons when,
suddenly and without warning, a wooden post supporting the
carport fell and struck her, causing her injuries. Plaintiff
further averred that her damages were caused by the fault of
the Watsons in, among other things, maintaining an
unreasonably dangerous condition, failing to warn their
guests and patrons of the dangerous condition, failing to
properly inspect the wooden posts attached to the carport,
having the wooden posts of the carport displayed in an area
where pedestrian traffic is reasonably anticipated, and
choosing to conduct a garage sale and inviting persons to buy
goods in an area where it was not safe to do so.
matter proceeded to a jury trial on November 30 and December
1, 2016. Following trial, the jury was presented with several
interrogatories regarding the case on the jury verdict form
and found, in accordance with the parties' stipulation
that the Watsons were the owners and custodians of the post
at issue. However, in response to the question of whether the
jury found "by a preponderance of the evidence that the
post at issue was defective and created an unreasonable risk
of harm to the plaintiff at the time of the accident,"
the jury answered "no." At that point, the verdict
form was signed and returned back to the district court.
district court signed a judgment dated March 21,
2017, outlining the findings of the jury.
Following the subsequent denial of plaintiffs motion for
judgment notwithstanding the verdict, plaintiff appealed the
March 21, 2017 judgment.
review of that judgment, this court determined that we lacked
subject matter jurisdiction as the judgment lacked sufficient
decretal language. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.
See Manchester v. ANPAC Louisiana Insurance Company,
2017-1660 (La.App. 1st Cir. 6/4/18), 2018 WL
a new judgment was presented to the district court and
executed on July 2, 2018. This appeal followed.