United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES JUDGE.
A. Doughty United States District Judge
here is the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Regarding
Plaintiff’s Economic Damages and Wage Loss Claims filed
by Defendants Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC and Wal-Mart Stores
Inc. (collectively “Wal-Mart”) [Doc. No. 51].
Defendant Ieshia Hollins Jones (“Jones”) has
filed an opposition [Doc. No. 63]. Wal-Mart has filed a reply
[Doc. No. 73].
foregoing reasons, the motion is GRANTED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed this lawsuit following a slip and fall accident at a
Wal-Mart Store in West Monroe, Louisiana on August 16, 2016.
As a result of the accident, she claims to have sustained
economic damages and lost wages. In its motion, Wal-Mart
contends, first, that all of Jones’ alleged economic
losses are actually those of a company called Direnzic
Technology & Consulting, LLC, (“Direnzic”),
and that none of the alleged losses belong to Jones.
Secondly, Wal-Mart contends that the record is void of any
documentation or support for Jones’ claim that she
personally suffered lost wages. Wal-Mart therefore seeks
summary judgment dismissing Jones’ claims for economic
damages and wage loss claims with prejudice Wal-Mart asserts
that when Jones submitted her Initial Witness and Exhibit
Lists in December 2017, she did not identify any
documentation that might support her economic damage claims
or her lost wage claims. Wal-Mart then deposed Jones on
January 4, 2018, and requested information pertaining to
testified that she owns her own technology management and
consulting limited liability company, Direnzic [Doc. No.
51-5, p. 18]. She does not take a salary but draws from the
company if there is a profit [Id., pp. 20-21]. She
could not calculate the amount of her lost wages, but she
testified that she initially missed only four to five days of
billing for Direnzic following the accident due to pain, and
additional days to attend doctors’ appointments
[Id., pp. 18-20].
asserts that Jones’ testimony revealed that her lost
wage claims were premised on losses her company allegedly
incurred, not losses of Jones in her personal capacity.
Specifically, Jones claimed that she canceled a Direnzic
seminar she planned to host in the days after the accident,
and that she could not bid on at least two projects on behalf
of Direnzic [Id., pp. 29-30, 92-94]. Jones was
unable to establish the company expenses lost for having to
reserve the class area and books and could provide no details
regarding the company’s alleged lost project bids, such
as the time frame or income lost for them [Id., pp.
92-94]. Nonetheless, Jones testified that her company did not
lose any clients because of the accident, and she could not
say whether she lost any new business [Id., pp.
on the morning of a scheduled mediation on August 20, 2018,
Jones provided a self-calculation of her company’s
alleged economic losses, purporting to show lost income of
$48,410.00 and “potential” lost wages in the
amount of $6,661,820.00, which she attributed to
Direnzic’s loss of the opportunities to bid on
projects. [Doc. No. 51-6, Plaintiff’s “Lost Wage
her alleged claims of company losses in the millions of
dollars, Jones’ Schedule C tax returns for Direnzic for
2015 and 2016 showed gross receipts of $9,129.00 and
$17,500.00, respectively. [Doc. No. 51-10].
February 6, 2019, Wal-Mart re-deposed Jones about her alleged
economic and wage loss claims. Jones confirmed the losses she
is claiming were not sustained by her personally, but by
Direnzic [Doc. No. 51-7, p. 79]. These alleged losses include
hours the company would have billed to clients, a company
seminar cancelation, accounts payable the company paid out to
contractors, time that the company could not bill while she
was at the doctor’s office, and bids the company did
not complete and/or timely deliver, which totaled the
$6,661,820.00 she is seeking [Id., pp 50-79].
argues in its motion for partial summary judgment that since
none of the alleged losses are those that belong to Jones,
and since the record is void of any documentation or support
for Jones’ claim that she personally suffered lost
wages, it is entitled to summary judgment dismissing
Jones’ claims for economic damages and wage loss claims
responds that, as the owner of Direnzic, her personal income
is based on her Schedule C that is filed with her personal
1040 taxes; therefore, any profit of the business is
considered her personal taxable earning. She argues that she
is not attempting to assert a claim on behalf of Direnzic for
business losses, but, rather, is asserting a claim for her
own personal lost wages. In support of her argument, she
attaches the Affidavit of Johann V. Hollins, the preparer of
her income tax returns [Doc. No. 63-2].