KATHLEEN PADIAN, AS THE INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF ADRIAN L. MORGAN
ALGIERS CHARTER SCHOOL ASSOCIATION, INC.
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-00562,
DIVISION "G-11" Honorable Robin M. Giarrusso, Judge
Anthony J. Milazzo, Jr. Charles V. Giordano HEBBLER &
GIORDANO, LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT
R. Beebe Elizabeth A. Roussel Taylor E. Brett ADAMS AND REESE
LLP COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Edwin A.
Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet
A. LOMBARD JUDGE.
appeal is from the district court judgment granting summary
judgment in favor of the defendant, Algiers Charter School
Association, Inc (ACSA). After de novo review we
affirm the judgment of the district court.
Facts and Procedural History
plaintiff, Kathleen Padian is the Independent Administratix
of the Estate of Adrian L. Morgan. Mr. Morgan was employed by
ACSA from August 1, 2012, until he was discharged on January
22, 2016. He died shortly thereafter on March 31, 2016. It is
undisputed that Morgan worked under two successive yearly
contracts (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) from July 30, 2012, until
June 30, 2014. The parties were unable to agree to a new
contract for the year 2014-2015 and, in September 2014,
mutually agreed to extend the 2013-2014 contract for a year.
Mr. Morgan continued to work into the 2015-2016 school term
without a contract and, thus, there was no contract in place
when he was terminated in January 2016.
January 18, 2017, the plaintiff filed a petition for breach
of contract and damages against ACSA, alleging that in
terminating Mr. Morgan without cause and failing to adhere to
the termination protocols in his expired contract, ACSA
breached Mr. Morgan's employment agreement.
answered the lawsuit on February 7, 2017. After a period of
discovery, ACSA filed the instant motion for summary judgment
on June 4, 2018. The plaintiff's opposition was filed on
August 9, 2018. ACSA filed a reply memorandum on October 19,
2018. The district court granted summary judgment on November
plaintiff timely filed this devolutive appeal.
motion for summary judgment is a procedural device used when
there is no genuine issue of material fact for all or part of
the relief prayed for by a litigant. Beer Indus. League
of Louisiana v. City of New Orleans, 2018-0280 (La.
6/27/18), 251 So.3d 380, 385-86. It is designed to secure the
just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of civil actions
(with the exception of certain domestic matters) and is
favored under Louisiana law. La. Code Civ. P. art. 966(A)(2).
Summary judgments are reviewed de novo on appeal,
using the same criteria governing the initial district court
determination as to whether summary judgment is appropriate;
i.e., whether there is any genuine issue of material fact,
and whether the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law. Wright v. Louisiana Power & Light,
2006-1181 (La. 3/9/07), 951 So.2d 1058, 1070. Summary
judgment must be granted "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to material fact, and that mover is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." La. Code Civ. Proc. art.
motion for summary judgment, the burden of proof remains with
the movant. When the moving party will not bear the burden of
proof on the issue at trial and points out that there is an
absence of factual support for one or more elements essential
to the adverse party's claim, action, or defense, then
the burden is on the non-moving party to produce factual
support sufficient to establish that he will be able to
satisfy his evidentiary burden of proof at trial. If the
opponent of the motion fails to do so, there is no genuine
issue of material fact and summary judgment is appropriate as
a matter of law. La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 966(D)(2).
of Breach ...