Louisiana Supreme Court - 400 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130 | Tel: 504-310-2300 Hon. Bernette J. Johnson. Chief Justice.  John Tarlton Olivier., Clerk of Court.  Sandra A. Vujnovich. Judicial Administrator
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 2019 News Releases

News Release #021

 

FOR IMMEDIATE NEWS RELEASE
NEWS RELEASE #021
   
FROM: CLERK OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA  

 

The Opinions handed down on the 8th day of May, 2019, are as follows:

 

BY JOHNSON, C.J.:

2018-CQ-1728 STEMCOR USA INCORPORATED v. CIA SIDERURGICA DO PARA COSIPAR, ET AL.
We accepted the certified question presented to this court by the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Stemcor USA Incorporated v. CIA Siderurgica Do Para Cosipar, et al, 740 Fed. Appx. 70 (5th Cir. 2018): “Is a suit seeking to compel arbitration an ‘action for a money judgment’ under Louisiana’s non-resident attachment statute, La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 3542?” 
     For the reasons set forth below, we answer the question as follows: Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 3542 allows for attachment in aid of arbitration if the origin of the underlying arbitration claim is one pursuing money damages and the arbitral party has satisfied the statutory requirements necessary to obtain a writ of attachment.

GUIDRY, J., dissents and assigns reasons.
GENOVESE, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Justice Guidry.

 

 

BY WEIMER, J.:

2018-CC-1768 THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, EX REL. JAMES D. "BUDDY" CALDWELL, ATTORNEY GENERAL  v.  MOLINA HEALTHCARE, INC; MOLINA INFORMATION SYSTEMS, L.L.C. D/B/A MOLINA MEDICAID SOLUTIONS; PARAMAX SYSTEMS CORPORATION; AND UNISYS CORPORATION (Parish of E. Baton Rouge)
The writ application was granted in this matter to review the correctness of the appellate court’s ruling, sustaining an exception of no right of action for the Attorney General’s lawsuit against the defendants, which are corporate entities allegedly serving as the state’s fiscal intermediary for the Medicaid program.  By statute, the Louisiana Department of Health has the capacity to sue and be sued for programs that it administers, such as Medicaid.  However, because the Louisiana Department of Health has delegated–and the defendants allegedly contractually accepted–some of the administrative functions of the state’s Medicaid program, we find that the Attorney General has the capacity, and hence a right of action, to prosecute this lawsuit.
VACATED; REMANDED.

JOHNSON, C.J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.
GUIDRY, J., additionally concurs for the reasons assigned by Chief Justice Johnson.
GENOVESE, J., additionally concurs for the reasons assigned by Chief Justice Johnson.

 

 

BY GUIDRY, J.:

2018-CC-1568 JAMES E. GUFFEY, ET AL. v. LEXINGTON HOUSE, LLC (Parish of Rapides)
For these reasons, we hold R.S. 40:1231.1(A)(4) presumes that only those persons with a right of action to seek damages or the “representative” specified in La. R.S. 40:1231.1(A)(16) may qualify to be a “claimant” within the meaning of the Medical Malpractice Act. Under the facts of this case, we find that, when Ms. Frederick attempted to request the medical review panel either in the capacity of representative of her deceased grandmother or in the capacity of representative of her grandmother’s estate, she did not satisfy the criteria for being a “claimant” under La. R.S. 40:1231.1(A)(4) and La. R.S. 40:1231.1(A)(16), and thus prescription was not tolled pursuant to La. R.S. 40:1231.8(A)(2)(a). Ms. Frederick was not a “representative” of the decedent, nor did the estate of the decedent, even had Ms. Frederick been properly appointed a succession representative, have a right of action here to seek recovery of damages pursuant to La. Civ. Code arts. 2315.1 or 2315.2. Accordingly, the district court erred in overruling Lexington’s exception of prescription. The defendant’s exception of prescription is sustained, and the plaintiffs’ claims are dismissed with prejudice.
REVERSED AND RENDERED.

JOHNSON, C.J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

 

BY CLARK, J.:

2018-CC-0735 KERRY SIMMONS v. CORNERSTONE INVESTMENTS, LLC, ET AL. (Parish of Rapides)
In a tort case against a third party tortfeasor, the lower courts did not err in prohibiting a plaintiff from introducing the full amount of medical expenses billed and in allowing only evidence of the amount actually paid by the employer through workers’ compensation.  We concluded the amount of medical expenses charged above the amount actually incurred is not a collateral source and its exclusion from the purview of the jury was proper. Accordingly, we affirmed the lower courts’ ruling.
AFFIRMED.

HUGHES, J., concurs with reasons.
GENOVESE, J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

 

BY CRICHTON, J.:

2018-CC-0748 CREEKSTONE JUBAN I, L.L.C. v. XL INSURANCE AMERICA, INC. (Parish of Livingston)
We granted this writ to resolve the question of whether La. R.S. 22:868(A)(2) prohibits the enforcement of the forum selection clause in dispute. For the reasons set forth below, we find that the statute does not prohibit enforcement of the forum selection clause to which these parties contractually agreed. Accordingly, we reverse the ruling of the trial court and remand the matter to the trial court for further proceedings pursuant to La. Code Civ. P. art. 121.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

JOHNSON, C.J., additionally concurs and assigns reasons.
WEIMER, J., concurs and assigns reasons.
HUGHES, J., dissents with reasons.
GENOVESE, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Justice Hughes.

 

 

PER CURIAM:

2018-K-0780 STATE OF LOUISIANA v. RANDY LEE TURNER (Parish of Terrebonne)
We granted the State’s application to resolve this disagreement as to whether the crime of aggravated flight from an officer requires proof that a defendant committed two different acts from among those enumerated in La.R.S. 14:108.1(D), or whether proof of the repeated commission of one of those enumerated acts suffices. We find no real uncertainty in the meaning of “at least two of the following acts” in La.R.S. 14:108.1(D). Instead, we find that this language in its context plainly encompasses the commission of one of the acts enumerated in that provision more than once. Therefore, the district court did not err in instructing the jury. Accordingly, we reverse the court of appeal and reinstate defendant’s conviction and sentence.
REVERSED

Retired Judge Marion Edwards appointed Justice ad hoc, sitting for Justice Weimer, recused.

JOHNSON, C.J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

2018-C-0991 ROBERT G. MURPHY AND PAMELA MURPHY v. SHAUNTAL SAVANNAH; STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, A.K.A. STATE FARM; STATE OF LOUISIANA, THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT (Parish of Caddo)
For the reasons assigned, the judgment of the court of appeal is reversed.  The judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the State of Louisiana through the Department of Transportation and Development and dismissing  the claims of Robert G. Murphy and Pamela Murphy with prejudice is hereby reinstated. REVERSED.

JOHNSON, C.J., dissents and assigns reasons.
CRICHTON, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by Justice Genovese.
GENOVESE, J., dissents and assigns reasons.

 

2018-B-1812 IN RE: DANTE JEROME BUTLER
Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that Dante J. Butler, Louisiana Bar Roll number 33753, be and he hereby is suspended from the practice of law for a period of eighteen months.  It is further ordered that all but one year of this suspension shall be deferred.  Following the active portion of the suspension, respondent shall be placed on unsupervised probation for a period of one year.  As a condition of probation, respondent is ordered to attend and successfully complete the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Ethics School.  The probationary period shall commence from the date respondent and the ODC execute a formal probation plan.  Any failure of respondent to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, may be grounds for making the deferred portion of the suspension executory, or imposing additional discipline, as appropriate.  All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.

CRICHTON, J., concurs in part, dissents in part and assigns reasons.

 

2018-B-1979 IN RE: JOHN JULIUS STEGER, IV
Upon review of the findings and recommendations of the hearing committee and disciplinary board, and considering the record, briefs, and oral argument, it is ordered that John Julius Steger, IV, Louisiana Bar Roll number 24657, be and he hereby is suspended from the practice of law for a period of eighteen months.  It is further ordered that all but six months of this suspension shall be deferred.  Following the active portion of the suspension, respondent shall be placed on unsupervised probation for a period of five years, subject to the conditions recommended by the disciplinary board.  The probationary period shall commence from the date respondent and the ODC execute a formal probation plan.  Any failure of respondent to comply with the conditions of probation, or any misconduct during the probationary period, may be grounds for making the deferred portion of the suspension executory, or imposing additional discipline, as appropriate.  All costs and expenses in the matter are assessed against respondent in accordance with Supreme Court Rule XIX, § 10.1, with legal interest to commence thirty days from the date of finality of this court’s judgment until paid.

WEIMER, J., concurs in part, dissents in part and assigns reasons.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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