Appeal from The 19th Judicial District Court,
Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana Trial Court
No. C658600 The Honorable R. Michael Caldwell, Judge
Simien Jr. Matthew Pertuit Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorneys
for Plaintiff/Appellant, Michael Spears
T. Myers Metairie, Louisiana Attorney for Defendant/Appellee,
E. Balhoff Judith R. Atkinson Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Attorneys for Defendant/Appellee Turner Industries Group,
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., GUIDRY, AND CRAIN,  JJ.
tort suit, Michael Spears appeals a summary judgment
dismissing his claims with prejudice against ExxonMobil
Corporation. We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
contracted with Poly-America, L.P. to collect and remove
scrap polyethylene pellets from ExxonMobil's plastics
plant in Baton Rouge. The parties agreed ExxonMobil would be
"the statutory employer of employees of [Poly-America]
and subcontractors while such employees are engaged in
[w]ork" under the contract. Poly-America subcontracted
with an affiliated entity, Poly Trucking, Inc., to do the
work. Poly Trucking employed Spears.
work required the use of a vacuum truck to collect the
polyethylene pellets and a worker who used a water hose, when
needed, to direct the pellets into the vacuum sump. While
engaged in that work, Spears allegedly slipped and fell on an
algae-covered surface at the worksite. He filed suit against
multiple parties, including ExxonMobil, alleging it failed to
provide a safe place for persons on the premises, failed to
timely remove the algae, and failed to institute and enforce
policies and procedures to discover hazards on the premises.
filed a motion for summary judgment urging it was
Spears's statutory employer and thus immune from tort
liability under the Workers' Compensation Act.
See La. R.S. 23:1032A(1)(a) and 1061A. The trial
court agreed, granted the motion, and signed a judgment on
September 5, 2018, dismissing Spears's claims against
ExxonMobil with prejudice. Spears appeals.
an opportunity for adequate discovery, a motion for summary
judgment shall be granted if the motion, memorandum, and
supporting documents show there is no genuine issue as to
material fact and mover is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 966A(3). The summary judgment
procedure is favored and shall be construed to secure the
just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.
La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 966A(2). In determining whether
summary judgment is appropriate, appellate courts review
evidence de novo under the same criteria governing
the trial court's determination of whether summary
judgment is appropriate. In re Succession of Beard,
13-1717 (La.App. 1 Cir. 6/6/14), 147 So.3d 753, 759-60.
mover will bear the burden of proof at trial on the issue
before the court on the motion, the burden of showing there
is no genuine issue of material fact remains with the mover.
See La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 966D(1); Smith v.
Moreau, 17-0003 (La.App. 1 Cir. 6/2/17), 222 So.3d 761,
765. When a motion is made and properly supported, an adverse
party may not rest on the mere allegations or denials of his
pleading; his response, by affidavits or as otherwise
provided by law, must set forth specific facts showing there
is a genuine issue for trial. If he does not so respond,
summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be rendered against
him. See La. Code Civ. Pro. art. 967B.
is material if it potentially insures or precludes recovery,
affects a litigant's ultimate success, or determines the
outcome of the legal dispute. Hines v. Garrett,
04-0806 (La. 6/25/04), 876 So.2d 764, 765 (per curiam);
Smith v. Our Lady of the Lake Hospital, Inc., 93-2512
(La. 7/5/94), 639 So.2d 730, 751. A genuine issue is one as
to which reasonable persons could disagree; if reasonable
persons could reach only one conclusion, there is no need for
trial on that issue and summary judgment is appropriate.
Hines, 876 So.2d at 765-66; Smith, 639
So.2d at 751. Because the applicable substantive law
determines materiality, whether a particular fact in dispute
is material must be viewed in light of ...