APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY REVIEW FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH
JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF
LOUISIANA NO. 765-038, DIVISION "O" HONORABLE
DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT, JULIE GORDON KITZIGER
Matthew A. Sherman, David R. Sherman, Patrick R. Follette,
Nicholas R. Varisco
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR, MICHAEL F. MIRE Andrew P.
Burnside, Andrew J. Halverson
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Marc E.
Johnson, and Robert A. Chaisson
A. CHAISSON JUDGE
case concerning disputed compensation, defendant Michael F.
Mire seeks supervisory review of the trial court's denial
of his exceptions of prescription and no cause of action.
& PROCEDURAL HISTORY
September 26, 2016, Julie Kitziger filed a petition for
damages naming Mr. Mire the sole defendant. The facts as set
forth in the original and amended petition are as follows:
2003, Ms. Kitziger, who has a degree in business, was working
as a salesperson for an oil and gas firm. She was recruited
by Mr. Mire to work as a salesperson at his company,
Gulfstream Services, Inc. At that time, and on numerous
occasions thereafter, Mr. Mire made promises and
representations to Ms. Kitziger that she would be "taken
care of and that he would "take her to retirement"
if she came to work for him at Gulfstream. Based on such
promises, Ms. Kitziger left her previous employer and began
working as a salesperson at Gulfstream. From 2003 to 2015,
Ms. Kitziger brought several accounts to the company. In
2013, Gulfstream hired a new sales manager who purportedly
began harassing and bullying Ms. Kitziger; she had sales
accounts taken away and her bonuses were diminished. The
purported harassment lasted approximately 10 months, during
which time Mr. Mire encouraged Ms. Kitziger to "hang in
there." In October of 2014, Gulfstream was purchased by
the Jordan Company. Following the sale, Mr. Mire continued
working for Jordan in an executive role. Ms. Kitziger
continued her employment as a salesperson with the Jordan
Company until she was terminated on September 28, 2015,
supposedly at Mr. Mire's direction. The petition sets
forth three causes of action: 1) negligent misrepresentation;
2) detrimental reliance; and 3) unjust enrichment.
response to this original petition, Mr. Mire filed a
peremptory exception of no cause of action arguing that Ms.
Kitziger's claims amounted to a wrongful termination suit
and therefore it was necessary to analyze them under La. C.C.
art. 2747, Louisiana's at-will employment
statute. At the hearing of Mr. Mire's
exception, the trial court indicated that an exception of
vagueness might have been appropriate because Ms.
Kitziger's cause of action was not clearly pled.
attempt to clarify the causes of action brought by Ms.
Kitziger, her counsel argued that "the termination did
not have anything to do with these negligent
misrepresentations, the detrimental reliance or the unjust
enrichment, " the termination "is very clearly not
related to this case, " "it's our position that
this case is completely separate and apart from the
termination, " and that her cause of action is
"absolutely not" for continued employment. In a
February 16, 2017 judgment, the trial court sustained Mr.
Mire's peremptory exception, but allowed Ms. Kitziger 45
days to amend her petition to remove the grounds for the
Kitziger amended her petition in an attempt to cure the
grounds for the exception of no cause of action. In her
amended petition, she states that the promises were made by
Mr. Mire in his individual capacity, not in his capacity as
an officer or owner of Gulfstream, and they were not made to
her for indefinite or lifelong employment. Ms. Kitziger also
alleged in her amended petition that Mr. Mire promised her
she would be substantially compensated by Mr. Mire,
individually, if she assisted him in growing and eventually
selling Gulfstream. Ms. Kitziger, upon belief that she would
be substantially compensated by Mr. Mire upon a sale of
Gulfstream, brought at least one potential buyer to Mr.
response to the first amending petition, Mr. Mire filed a
second peremptory exception of no cause of action, which the
trial court denied. In its reasons for judgment, the trial
court found that Ms. Kitziger had alleged facts sufficient to
state a cause of action for detrimental reliance.
Mire filed additional peremptory exceptions of prescription
and no cause of action. The trial court also denied these
exceptions. It is from this ...