DE ROME A. SEALS
FRANKLIN AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEW ORLEANS, LA
FROM CIVIL DISTRICT COURT, ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2015-11336,
DIVISION "G-11" Honorable Robin M. Giarrusso, Judge
Rome A. Seals COUNSEL FOR PRO SE PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, DE ROME
Michael G. Bagneris DAVILLIER LAW GROUP COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, FRANKLIN AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Terri F.
Love, Judge Dale N. Atkins
F. LOVE JUDGE.
appeal arises from damages allegedly sustained by plaintiff
when he was driving a bus for defendant. The bus experienced
two flat tires on the day plaintiff was driving, which he
contends caused him undue stress. Plaintiff also asserts that
defendant owes him a refund for a deposit he placed for a
choir trip he could not attend. Numerous motions for summary
judgment were filed. The trial court granted defendant's
motion for summary judgment, which maintained that plaintiff
had no evidence of defendant's alleged negligence or that
he was entitled to a refund.
review, we find that no genuine issues of material fact exist
because plaintiff failed to establish that genuine issues of
material fact exist as to defendant's alleged negligence
once defendant pointed out an absence of factual support. No
exhibits or documents were attached to plaintiff's
opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Therefore, we
affirm the trial court's judgment granting
defendant's motion for summary judgment.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
24, 2015, De Rome Seals drove a bus for Franklin Avenue
Baptist Church ("FABC") to and from Port Sulphur,
Louisiana, which contained members of the Heart to Heart
congregation. On the way to Port Sulphur, the bus experienced
a flat tire. Due to the design of the bus, Mr. Seals was able
to complete the drive to Port Sulphur. Upon arrival, Mr.
Seals coordinated repairs. On the return trip to FABC, the
bus experienced another flat tire. Mr. Seals contacted
service personnel and again coordinated repairs.
and distinct from the bus trip, Mr. Seals paid a $60 down
payment for a trip with the FABC Male Choral Tour. However,
after signing up and paying the down payment, Mr. Seals
realized he would be unable to partake in the trip. He sought
a complete refund of his down payment, which was not granted.
Seals filed a complaint in forma pauperis against
FABC contending that the bus' flat tires were a result of
FABC's negligence and that he suffered the aggravation of
a pre-existing illness,  anxiety, embarrassment, spiritual
confusion, humiliation, and stress. He also averred that FABC
owed him a $60 refund for his trip down payment. Mr. Seals
asserted that he was due $25, 000, 000.00 in damages.
months after filing the complaint, Mr. Seals filed his first
Motion for Summary Judgment, which the trial court denied.
Mr. Seals then sought appellate review of the denial. This
Court ordered the dismissal of his appeal for lack of
jurisdiction. Mr. Seals filed two subsequent Motions for
Summary Judgment, which were both denied by the trial court.
After Mr. Seals contended that he was not a part of
FABC's transportation ministry, FABC filed an exception
of lack of subject matter jurisdiction. FABC maintained that
if Mr. Seals was not in the transportation ministry, then he
was an employee of FABC, which placed his claims in
worker's compensation law as opposed to tort law.
Seals opposed the exception and then filed a fourth Motion
for Summary Judgment asserting that he was entitled to
judgment because he possessed an affidavit of an alleged tire
expert who stated that the bus tires were dry
rotted. FABC opposed the fourth Motion for Summary
Judgment, but also filed a Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment,
which alleged that there were no genuine issues of material
fact because, while the flat tires caused Mr. Seals
inconvenience, he did not expend any personal funds for
repairs. Additionally, Mr. Seals did not produce evidence of
negligence sufficient to establish that genuine issues of
material fact exist. The trial court denied Mr. Seals'
fourth Motion for Summary Judgment and granted FABC's
Motion for Summary Judgment. The trial court also determined
that an outstanding Motion to Strike was rendered moot and denied
FABC's Motion Compel. Mr. Seals' Notice of Appeal of the
Seals asserts numerous assignments of error, but his central
contention is that the trial court erred by granting
FABC's Motion for Summary Judgment ...