Appealed from the Forty-Second Judicial District Court for
the Parish of DeSoto, Louisiana Trial Court No. 77, 227
Honorable Charles Blaylock Adams, Judge
GREGORIO, CHAFIN, JOHNSON, TABOR & FENASCI, L.L.C. By:
Charles E. Tabor Scott J. Chafin, Jr. DANIEL J. POOLSON, JR.
Counsel for Appellant, Rosemary Grimsley
BREAZEALE, SACHSE & WILSON, LLP By: Thomas R. Temple, Jr.
Joseph J. Cefalu, III Counsel for Appellees, Liberty Mutual
Insurance Company and James Construction Group
DONOHUE PATRICK & SCOTT, PLLC By: Leigh F. Groves Counsel
for Appellee, Arcadis U.S., Inc.
WILLIAMS, STEPHENS, and THOMPSON, JJ.
Mary Grimsley, plaintiff in these proceedings, appeals a
judgment by the 42nd Judicial District Court, Parish of
DeSoto, State of Louisiana, granting a motion for summary
judgment in favor of defendants, James Construction Group,
LLC, and its insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. For
the following reasons, we affirm the trial court's
Mary Grimsley was involved in a single-vehicle collision on
March 11, 2015, at approximately 9:00 p.m. She was traveling
southbound on Highway 5 in Logansport, Louisiana, when she
approached a stop sign where Hwy. 5 intersected with U.S.
Highway 84. She attempted to make a left turn onto Hwy. 84,
which is a two-lane highway running east/west, when she
collided with a temporary construction barrier while making
time, Hwy. 84 was under construction by James Construction
Group, LLC ("James Construction"). Because the
highway spanned Louisiana and Texas, the work was being
performed jointly for the Louisiana Department of
Transportation and Development (the "La. DOTD") and
the Texas Department of Transportation (the "Texas
DOT"). As of the day of Grimsley's incident,
construction on that particular intersection had reached a
new phase-previous traffic control had been in place for 431
days. However, on that particular day and in the course of
the construction project, pursuant to the plans and
specifications provided to James Construction by the Texas
DOT, the highway lanes had been shifted north (closer to Hwy.
5) so construction could take place on the eastbound lane of
Hwy. 84. On that day, the temporary construction lanes
consisted of: (1) the former westbound shoulder (now the
temporary westbound lane), and (2) the former westbound land
(now the temporary eastbound lane). These temporary lanes
were marked with yellow and white construction
"buttons." Outside of the buttons, a temporary
construction barrier was placed. At issue in this case was
that "low profile concrete barrier," which was
installed to mark the edge of the temporary eastbound lane
and to prevent traveling vehicles from entering the
construction site. There were also electronic traffic control
warning signs to alert drivers displaying notice of the
construction on Hwy. 5 southbound-the direction in which
Grimsley was traveling. Finally, James Construction painted
on the ground a white "stop bar" to accompany the
stop sign on Hwy. 5. All of these traffic devices were
provided for in the project plans and specifications.
result of striking the concrete barrier on the night of March
11, Grimsley filed suit against James Construction, Liberty
Mutual, and the La. DOTD. According to Grimsley, on that
date, "while dark at night," she "crashed into
a dangerous and improperly constructed concrete
barrier," which had been erected by James Construction
in connection with its construction work on Hwy. 84. She
later amended her petition to add the design and engineering
firm which prepared the Hwy. 84 plans-Arcadis U.S. Inc.
Ultimately, James Construction and Liberty Mutual filed a
motion for partial summary judgment claiming immunity
pursuant to La. R.S. 9:2771, which the trial court granted.
This appeal by Grimsley ensued.
judgments are reviewed de novo using the same
criteria that govern the trial court's consideration of
whether a summary judgment should be granted. Richard v.
Hall, 2003-1488 (La. 4/23/04), 874 So.2d 131;
Franklin v. Dick, 51, 479 (La.App. 2 Cir. 6/21/17),
224 So.3d 1130; Capital One Bank (USA) NA v.
Thompson, 47, 994 (La.App. 2 Cir. 5/15/13), 115 So.3d
704. We view the record and all reasonable inferences to be
drawn from it in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Hines v.Garrett, 2004-0806 (La.
6/25/04), 876 So.2d 764. When considering a motion for
summary judgment, it is improper to weigh ...