JOSEPH GLORIOSO ON BEHALF OF HIS MINOR DAUGHTER, MOLLY GLORIOSO
THE CITY OF KENNER
APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 786-435, DIVISION
"J" HONORABLE STEPHEN C. GREFER, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, JOSEPH GLORIOSO ON BEHALF OF
HIS MINOR DAUGHTER, MOLLY GLORIOSO Edward P. Gothard, Harold
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE, THE CITY OF KENNER C. A.
composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert A. Chaisson, and
John J. Molaison, Jr.
A. CHAISSON, JUDGE.
case arising from an injury to a minor child while attending
a gymnastics camp in a facility owned by the City of Kenner
("Kenner"), Joseph Glorioso, on behalf of his minor
daughter, appeals an April 3, 2019 judgment of the trial
court that granted Kenner's motion for summary judgment
and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice. For the following
reasons, we vacate the judgment of the trial court.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
August 8, 2017, Molly Glorioso, then age five, was attending
a gymnastics class at the Barbre Gym located at 1610 Reverend
Wilson Drive in Kenner. This gym is owned by Kenner and
operated by its Parks and Recreation Department. During
class, Molly slid off a stage and cut her right thigh and
buttock on a broken metal electrical box located on the front
of the stage. On August 7, 2018, Mr. Glorioso filed a
petition for damages on his daughter's behalf under
various theories of negligence and premises liability. In its
answer filed August 27, 2018, Kenner denied the allegations
and raised various affirmative defenses.
December 18, 2018, Kenner filed a motion for summary judgment
in which it argued that La. R.S. 9:2795, the Recreational Use
Statute, provides blanket tort immunity barring Mr.
Glorioso's claims of negligence and injury. In a judgment
on March 12, 2019, the trial court denied this motion for
summary judgment. The City re-urged its motion, and after
rehearing, the trial court, on April 3, 2019, granted the
motion for summary judgment and dismissed Mr. Glorioso's
claims. This timely appeal follows.
appeal, Mr. Glorioso argues that the trial court legally
erred in applying La. R.S. 9:2795 to the facts of this case.
In particular, Mr. Glorioso argues that the trial court
incorrectly extended the language of the statute to add
gymnastics as a "recreational purpose," and also
incorrectly extended the definition of land to include any
building, whether or not "attached to the realty."
Kenner argues that urban land and buildings, including Barbre
Gym, are included under the statute, and that the gym is used
for recreational purposes under the "unlimited omnibus
clause," and therefore the immunity act applies and
Kenner is not liable for Molly's injuries.
courts review summary judgments de novo using the
same criteria that govern the trial court's determination
of whether summary judgment is appropriate. In re
Succession of O'Krepki, 16-50 (La.App. 5 Cir.
5/26/16), 193 So.3d 574, 577. A motion for summary judgment
should be granted if, after an adequate opportunity for
discovery, the motion, memorandum, and supporting documents
show that there is no genuine issue as to material fact and
that the mover is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
La. C.C.P. art. 966(A)(4).
issue in this appeal is the correct interpretation of La.
R.S. 9:2795. The starting point in the interpretation of any
statute is the language of the statute itself as what a
legislature says in the text of a statute is considered the
best evidence of its intent and will. Mayeux v.