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Johnson v. Laney
Louisiana Court of Appeal
964 So. 2d 418 (2007)
John A. Laney, III, owned a house in Louisiana and lived in the house with his mother, Charmaine Johnson (plaintiff). Before he died, Laney made a will that granted a usufruct in the house to his mother and gave the naked ownership of the property to his two minor sons, John A. Laney, IV, and Troy Laney (defendants). The will placed that naked ownership of the house in a trust and named the two boys’ mothers as the trustees. The house was covered by both homeowners’ and flood insurance policies. After Laney’s death, Mrs. Johnson continued to live in the house until it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mrs. Johnson filed a petition asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that any insurance proceeds for the destruction of the house were subject to the usufruct. When insurance payments were issued, the checks were deposited with the court pending resolution of the suit. The boys’ mothers, in their roles as trustees, alleged that Mrs. Johnson had abused the usufruct and asked that the usufruct be terminated. The trial court granted Mrs. Johnson’s motion for summary judgment, finding that no genuine issue of fact existed and that the usufruct attached to the insurance proceedings as a matter of law. The boys’ mothers appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murray, J.)
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