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 on Behalf of
Argel Building Services, Inc. (“Argel”) [Doc. No.
82]. Plaintiff Margaret McDonald (“McDonald”)
filed an opposition [Doc. No. 87].
motion is fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to rule.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
contends that she suffered injuries on June 20, 2016, when
she slipped and fell on water left after a floor was cleaned
and buffed at the Brookshire store in Jonesboro, Louisiana.
On May 26, 2017, she filed a Petition for Damages against
Defendants Brookshire Grocery Company
(“Brookshire”), Nationwide Building Services,
Inc. (“Nationwide”), and The Travelers Indemnity
Company of Connecticut (“Travelers”) in the
Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jackson,
State of Louisiana. On August 1, 2017, the lawsuit was
removed to this Court.
March 12, 2018, McDonald filed a First Supplemental and
Amended Petition [Doc. No. 16], adding as an additional
Defendant Argel Building Services, Inc.,
(“Argel”). She alleged liability on the basis
that Brookshire had retained the services of Nationwide, who,
in turn, had retained the services of Argel to clean the
floors of the business.
March 5, 2019, McDonald filed a Second Supplemental and
Amended Petition [Doc. No. 36] adding as an additional
Defendant United Specialty Insurance Company
(“USIC”), the alleged insurer of Argel.
March 7, 2019, Nationwide filed a Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment [Doc. No. 38], contending that it had no liability
to McDonald because it had not cleaned or buffed the floors
at the Jonesboro Brookshire store, but, rather, had
sub-contracted that work to Argel, as an independent
April 5, 2019, the Court granted Nationwide’s Motion
for Partial Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 38], concluding that
Nationwide has no liability to McDonald because under
Louisiana law a party is not liable for the torts of its
subcontractor unless that party retains the right to control
the manner in which the contractor performs his work, which,
in this case, Nationwide did not do. Thus, the Court
concluded that Nationwide was entitled to judgment as a
matter of law holding that it has no liability to McDonald
[Doc. Nos. 52, 53].
April 30, 2019, Brookshire and Travelers filed a motion for
partial summary judgment asking that McDonald’s claims
against them be dismissed because: (1) Brookshire did not
perform any floor cleaning services that allegedly caused or
contributed to McDonald’s slip and fall; and, (2)
Brookshire contracted all floor cleaning services for the
premises in question to Nationwide as an independent
contractor, and, therefore, Brookshire was entitled to
summary judgment dismissing McDonald’s claims against
it for the same reason the Court granted summary judgment in
favor of Nationwide [Doc. No. 54].
7, 2019, the Court granted Brookshire and Travelers’
motion for summary judgment [Doc. Nos. 68, 69]. On July 1,
2019, McDonald filed a Notice of Appeal [Doc. No. 72], which
the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
dismissed for want of jurisdiction, on July 30, 2019 [Doc.
3, 2019, USIC, Argel’s insurer, filed a Motion to
Dismiss on the basis that McDonald’s tort claims are
time-barred by liberative prescription [Doc. No. 73]. On
August 26, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation in which she recommended the motion to dismiss
be granted [Doc. No. 84]. On September 10, 2019, the Court
entered Judgment adopting the Report and Recommendation [Doc.
August 24, 2019, Argel filed the pending Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 82], asserting that
McDonald’s claim against it, too, is time-barred.
following reasons, Argel’s motion is GRANTED.
LAW AND ANALYSIS