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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
April 24, 2007, Decided; April 24, 2007, Filed
CIVIL ACTION NO. 06-1868 SECTION "A"(4)
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc. 49) filed by defendant Century Surety Co. Plaintiff, 1544 Tchoupitoulas, LLC, opposes the motion. The motion, set for hearing on April 18, 2007, is before the Court on the briefs without oral argument. For the reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
According to the state court petition, 1544 Tchoupitoulas, LLC ("Plaintiff") owned property in New Orleans that sustained damages as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Plaintiff alleges that it was an insured under a policy of commercial insurance obtained by its lessor, Twi-Ro-Pa LLC. Century Surety Co. ("Century") is the insurer. Plaintiff alleges that Century has failed to pay for the damages sustained and is therefore liable under La. R.S. 22:658.
Century moves for summary judgment arguing inter alia that Plaintiff has no claim [*2] against Century because it is not an insured or an additional insured under the Property Coverage Part of the policy, and that the policy excludes coverage for wind damage.
Summary judgment is appropriate only if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any," when viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." TIG Ins. Co. v. Sedgwick James, 276 F.3d 754, 759 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986)). A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Id. (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). The court must draw all justifiable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Id. (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). Once the moving party has initially shown "that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's cause," Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986), the non-movant must come forward with "specific facts" showing a genuine factual issue for trial. Id. (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S. Ct. 1348, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538 (1986)). Conclusional allegations and denials, speculation, improbable inferences, unsubstantiated assertions, and legalistic argumentation do not adequately substitute for specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial. Id. (citing SEC v. Recile, 10 F.3d 1093, 1097 (5th Cir. 1993)).
An insurance [*3] policy is a contract and as with all other contracts, it constitutes the law between the parties. Pareti v. Sentry Indem. Co., 536 So. 2d 417, 420 (La. 1988) (citing Carney v. American Fire & Indem. Co., 371 So. 2d 815 (La. 1975)). If the policy wording at issue is clear and expresses the intent of the parties, the agreement must be enforced as written. Id. (citing Albritton v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 224 LA. 522, 70 So. 2d 111 (La. 1953)).
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2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107833 *
1544 TCHOUPITOULAS, LLC VERSUS CENTURY SURETY CO., ET AL.
Prior History: 1544 Tchoupitoulas, LLC v. Century Sur. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36373 (E.D. La., June 6, 2006)
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