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Hubert v. Curren

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

October 2, 2019

THOMAS P. HUBERT
v.
JOANNE CURREN, GARY C. LANDRIEU & LANDRIEU CONSTRUCTION, INC.

          APPEAL FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2012-08880, DIVISION "F" Honorable Christopher J. Bruno, Judge.

          Scott R. Bickford Lawrence J. Centola, III Jason Z. Landry MARTZELL, BICKFORD & CENTOLA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

          Henry L. Klein LAW OFFICE OF HENRY L. KLEIN, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE.

          Court composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.

          Edwin A. Lombard Judge.

         This appeal is from a district court judgment sustaining the exception of no right of action filed by defendant, Joanne Curren, and dismissing the plaintiff's lawsuit against her with prejudice. After de novo review of the record in light of the applicable law and arguments of the parties, we affirm the district court judgment.

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         On May 28, 2008, Thomas P. Hubert (the plaintiff/appellant) purchased the house at 614 State Street in uptown New Orleans from Kenneth P. Landrieu and Gary C. Landrieu. Several years later, in the early morning of December 25, 2011, a small fire occurred in the clothes dryer located in a utility closet on the second floor of his home. The fire was extinguished before the arrival of the New Orleans Fire Department.

         On September 18, 2012, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit, alleging that the fire occurred due to faulty workmanship performed on the house prior to his purchase and that, as a result of the fire, he and his family were forced to evacuate the house until January 17, 2012, at significant personal expense. The plaintiff named as defendants Ms. Curren, Gary C. Landrieu (Ms. Curren's brother), and Landrieu Construction, Inc. Ms. Curren was included as a defendant because she purportedly acted improperly as the general contractor and/or licensed home improvement contractor when, prior to the plaintiff's purchase, the house was "renovated and/or remediated and/or improved." Specifically, the plaintiff asserted in his petition:

         THE CAUSE OF THE FIRE

         21. A third party investigated the cause of the fire.

         22. The third party that investigated the cause of the fire determined that the fire was caused by the fact that the dryer was improperly installed and there was no venting to the exterior of the home from the dryer.

         23. As the contractors for the renovation, remediation, and/or improvement of the Hubert home, Defendants are liable to the Plaintiff for the improper installation of the dryer that resulted in the fire.

         On January 15, 2013, Ms. Curren filed exceptions of no right of action and no cause of action. The district court overruled them on April 22, 2013. The plaintiff dismissed Ms. Curren from the lawsuit without prejudice shortly thereafter. On February 12, 2015, however, Mr. Hubert filed an ...


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