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Marrero v. I. Manheim Auctions, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 19, 2019

DEANO MARRERO
v.
I. MANHEIM AUCTIONS, INC., GREATER NEW ORLEANS AUTO AUCTION, INC., AND NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURG, PA

          Appealed from the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of St. Tammany State of Louisiana Docket Number 2016-15427 Honorable William H. Burris, Judge Presiding

          Charles M. Thomas Steven M. Huber Ashley L.F. Barriere New Orleans, LA Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant, Deano Marrero

          Brian K. Abels Rhonda S. Smith Blake F. Harris Denham Springs, LA Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburg, PA

          BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., GUIDRY, AND CRAIN, JJ.

          WHIPPLE, C.J.

         This case is before us on appeal by plaintiff, Deano Marrero, from a judgment of the district court granting a motion for summary judgment filed by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburg, PA., one of the defendants herein. For the reasons that follow, we dismiss the appeal and remand this matter to the district court.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On December 19, 2016, plaintiff, Deano Marrero, filed suit, naming as defendants: I. Manheim Auctions, Inc., Greater New Orleans Auto Auction, Inc., and National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburg, PA ("National Union"). In the petition, plaintiff sought damages for injuries allegedly resulting from a fall at the Greater New Orleans Auto Auction, Inc./Manheim facility in Slidell, Louisiana.

         After answering the petition, National Union filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of plaintiffs claims pursuant to LSA-C.C.P. art. 2317.1. Following a hearing, the district court granted the motion for summary judgment. On December 12, 2018, the district court signed a judgment containing the following language:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Motion for Summary Judgment filed on behalf of defendant, NATIONAL UNION FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY OF PITTSBURG, PA, is granted, and plaintiffs claims are dismissed, with prejudice, and at plaintiffs costs.

         Plaintiff then filed the instant appeal.

         After the record was lodged in this court, we issued a rule, ex proprio motu, ordering the parties to show cause by briefs why the instant appeal should not be dismissed as having been taken from a non-fmal judgment, Le., a judgment not final for purposes of immediate appeal. Specifically, the December 12, 2018 judgment at issue on appeal grants National Union's motion for summary judgment, but does not dismiss any party, and further dismisses "plaintiffs claims," but does not indicate against which defendant. Thus, on its face, the judgment is defective in that it is not clear whether the judgment dismisses plaintiff's claims against any or all three defendants.

         DISCUSSION

         As an appellate court, we have the duty to examine our subject matter jurisdiction and to determine sua sponte whether such subject matter jurisdiction exists, even when the issue is not raised by the litigants, see Advanced Leveling & Concrete Solutions v. Lathan Company, Inc., 2017-1250 (La.App. 1st Cir. 12/20/18), 268 So.3d 1044, 1046 (en banc), as this court's appellate jurisdiction extends only to "final judgments." See LSA-C.C.P. ...


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