A Louisiana appeals court has reversed a ruling by a Lafayette district court judge dismissing a personal injury suit against a couple and their insurance company filed by a contractor who was seriously injured at the couple’s home while preparing a bid for a renovation project. The contractor, Markus Trautmann, was injured at the Acacia Drive home of Charles and Jeanne Fitzgerald when a second-floor balcony railing gave way while Trautmann was inspecting the balcony, sending him tumbling to the yard below. The house had recently been purchased by the Fitzgeralds after sitting vacant for seven years.

According to the 3rd Circuit opinion reversing the ruling, District Judge Durwood Conque based his ruling dismissing Trautmann’s suit on a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court decision — and a subsequent rewrite by the Louisiana Legislature of the state’s liability laws — prohibiting repairmen from recovering damages in some liability cases. But the appellate panel ruled that the “repairman prohibition” doesn’t apply to those “who go onto property for the purpose of preparing a bid to obtain a contract of repair.”

Also at issue in the case was a dispute between the plaintiffs and the defendant about whether Trautmann had declined to see an inspection report on the property — a report that noted the porch’s deficient condition and its need for replacement. But testimony at the hearing seeking the summary judgement against Trautman also revealed that after some hesitation, Jeanne Fitzgerald felt safe venturing out on the porch.

The reversal of Conque’s ruling sends the case back to district court in Lafayette.

To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.

feed-image RSS Feed
Loading
Chart
ABiz Stock Watch
o Home Bancorp 22.34 ▲0.26 (1.18%)
o Frank's International 20.15 ▲0.17 (0.85%)
o IberiaBank Corp 65.25 ▲0.60 (0.93%)
o LHC Group 25.74 ▲0.25 (0.98%)
o MidSouth Bancorp 19.11 ▲0.06 (0.31%)
o Petroquest Energy 6.66 ▲0.25 (3.90%)
o PHI Inc. 41.52 0.00 (0.00%)
o Superior Energy 35.84 ▲0.20 (0.56%)
o Stone Energy 35.19 ▲0.86 (2.51%)
o Facebook Inc. 74.82 ▲0.96 (1.31%)
o Twitter Inc. 49.75 ▲0.32 (0.65%)
o Gannett 33.76 ▲0.01 (0.03%)
NYSE:HBCP

Home Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:HBCP] Last trade:22.34 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.26 (1.18%)
NYSE:FI

Frank's International

Company ID [NYSE:FI] Last trade:20.15 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:▲0.17 (0.85%)
NYSE:IBKC

IberiaBank Corp

Company ID [NYSE:IBKC] Last trade:65.25 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.60 (0.93%)
NYSE:LHCG

LHC Group

Company ID [NYSE:LHCG] Last trade:25.74 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.25 (0.98%)
NYSE:MSL

MidSouth Bancorp

Company ID [NYSE:MSL] Last trade:19.11 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:▲0.06 (0.31%)
NYSE:PQ

Petroquest Energy

Company ID [NYSE:PQ] Last trade:6.66 Trade time:4:02PM EDT Value change:▲0.25 (3.90%)
NYSE:PHII

PHI Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:PHII] Last trade:41.52 Trade time:3:59PM EDT Value change:0.00 (0.00%)
NYSE:SPN

Superior Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SPN] Last trade:35.84 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:▲0.20 (0.56%)
NYSE:SGY

Stone Energy

Company ID [NYSE:SGY] Last trade:35.19 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:▲0.86 (2.51%)
NYSE:FB

Facebook Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:FB] Last trade:74.82 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.96 (1.31%)
NYSE:TWTR

Twitter Inc.

Company ID [NYSE:TWTR] Last trade:49.75 Trade time:4:01PM EDT Value change:▲0.32 (0.65%)
NYSE:GCI

Gannett

Company ID [NYSE:GCI] Last trade:33.76 Trade time:4:03PM EDT Value change:▲0.01 (0.03%)
Advertisement

Read the Flipping Paper!

Click Here for the Entire Print Version of
ABiz
 
Advertisement
Advertisement