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Leleck v. Triple G Express, Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
2002 WL 441337 (2002)


Facts

Mark Leleck (plaintiff) was driving when he went off the highway and hit a bridge piling. On May 21, 1999, he filed suit against Triple G Express, Inc. (Triple G) (defendant) claiming that at the time of his accident, one of Triple G’s employees, Curtis Downs, was driving a tractor-trailer that crossed the center lane, causing Leleck to go off the road. Leleck’s complaint alleged that Triple G was vicariously liable for Downs’s actions. Triple G timely responded to Leleck’s complaint with an answer that failed to raise the affirmative defense that Downs was not a Triple G employee. On October 12, 1999, Triple G admitted in its response to Leleck’s interrogatories that Downs was Triple G’s contract employee at the time of the accident. A year and a half later, on June 22, 2001, after the statute of limitations on Leleck’s claim had expired, Triple G attempted to change its responses to the interrogatories and deny an employment relationship with Downs. Triple G filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that Downs was an independent contractor and arguing that without an employer-employee relationship with Downs, it could not be held vicariously liable for his actions in causing the accident. In support, Triple G cited several regulations and cases. Leleck filed his own motion for summary judgment. In response to Leleck’s motion for summary judgment, Triple G confined its arguments to denying an employment relationship with Downs. Both motions are before the court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Porteous, J.)

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