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N. G. v. A. C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

October 2, 2019

N. G., ET AL.
v.
A. C., ET AL.

          APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 2018-4581 HONORABLE KRISTIAN DENNIS EARLES, DISTRICT JUDGE

          W. Alan Lilley Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: Shannon Guidry Gary

          Sidney W. Degan, III Degan, Blanchard & Nash COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: National Security Fire & Casualty Company

          Anthony J. Fontana, Jr. A Professional Law Corporation COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: N. G. N. G., obo S. N. G.

          Troy Allen Broussard Allen & Gooch, A Law Corporation COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPLICANT: Teurlings Catholic High School

          Thomas M. Long Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: B. C.

          J. Kevin Stockstill Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT: A. C.

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R. Cooks, and John D. Saunders, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE

         Relator, Teurlings Catholic High School (Teurlings), seeks writs from the denial of its peremptory exceptions of no cause of action and prescription by the Fifteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of Lafayette, the Honorable Kristian Earles, presiding.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         SNG[1] turned eighteen years old one month prior to the filing of this writ application. She is the daughter of Plaintiff, NG, and SG. NG and SG were never married, but they had joint custody of SNG. NG lived out of state, and SNG lived with her mother and her half-brother, AC, who is SG's child from another relationship. AC is two years older than SNG.

         In November of 2015, when SNG was a freshman and AC was a junior at Teurlings, SNG confided in a classmate that AC was sexually molesting her and that the abuse had been ongoing since SNG was 9 and AC was 11. That classmate reported this allegation to a counselor, who spoke to SNG and related the allegations to SG, but not to NG. The counselor followed up with SNG the day after the disclosure and again on December 8, 2015. Teurlings characterizes this as "multiple" follow-ups, during which time they received no further complaints from SNG.

         In December of 2017, SNG advised the resource officer at Teurlings that her mother had not gotten her counseling, that AC was still living in the home with her, and that she wanted to tell NG about the abuse. Teurlings alleges that there were no allegations of any abuse occurring after November of 2015. The petition states that the abuse continued until the allegations were relayed to the counselor at Teurlings in 2015, implying that the abuse stopped at that time. However, this does not mean that the petition lacks an allegation that the abuse was ongoing at the time that SNG made the disclosure to the school's counselor as argued by Teurlings.

         A meeting set up by the guidance counselor took place on December 15, 2017, and NG was told of the alleged abuse.[2] A report was made by Teurlings to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at that time because Teurlings was informed that a DCFS reference number was required in order for Teurlings to schedule counseling for SNG. Teurlings alleges that DCFS informed Teurlings that the situation "did not meet the policy definition of abuse that the DCFS is responsible to investigate."

         NG contends that SG did not notify him of the allegations, did not get counseling for SNG, and ultimately allowed AC to live in her home with SNG after briefly sending AC to live with his father. In August of 2018, NG filed suit against AC, AC's father (BC), SG, SG's homeowner's insurer (National Security Fire and Casualty Company), and Teurlings. The suit was brought by NG for his own alleged damages and on behalf of SNG, who was a minor at the time suit was filed, for her alleged damages.

         Teurlings filed exceptions of no cause of action and prescription.[3] A hearing on the exceptions was held on March 25, 2019, [4] and the trial court denied both exceptions in open court. [5] Teurlings timely filed a notice of intent to seek supervisory writs, and the trial court set a return date of April 24, 2019. This writ application, along with three supplements, was timely filed. Plaintiffs filed an opposition to the writ application, and Teurlings filed a reply to that opposition.

         There are no scheduled hearing or trial dates.

         Denials of peremptory exceptions of no cause of action and prescription are interlocutory rulings. See J.A. Davis Props., LLC v. Martin Operating Partnership, LP, 17-449 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/21/17), 224 So.3d 39, and Bezou v. Bezou, 15-1879 (La.App. 1 Cir. 9/16/16), 203 So.3d 488, writ denied, 16-1869 (La. 12/5/16), 210 So.3d 814. "Ordinarily, an application for supervisory writ is the appropriate vehicle for the review of an interlocutory judgment." McGinn v. Crescent City Connection Bridge Authority, 15-165, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir. 7/22/15), 174 So.3d 145, 148.

         ON THE MERITS

         No ...


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