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Miller v. Keating

349 So.2d 265 (1977)

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Miller v. Keating

Louisiana Supreme Court

349 So.2d 265 (1977)

Facts

Thomas Miller (plaintiff) was the vice-president of Kustom Homes, Inc. (Kustom) (defendant). Dutriel Keating (defendant) was the president of Kustom, responsible primarily for raising and borrowing money. Kustom had debts of approximately $125,000. Kustom held a life insurance policy on Miller of $25,000. After Miller and Keating had a falling out, Miller resigned from Kustom. Right after Miller left the company, Kustom took out an additional $75,000 in life insurance on Miller. Two Kustom employees, Johnny Howren and James Guillet (defendants), stalked Miller to find out where Miller lived and worked. In coordination with Keating, Howren and Guillet beat Miller with a pipe, trying to kill him in order to collect on Miller’s life insurance policy. Miller survived the attack. He sued Kustom Homes, Keating, Howren, Guillet, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Insurance Company (Hartford) (defendant). The jury found in favor of Miller, holding Kustom, Keating, Howren, and Guillet liable jointly and solidarily for $25,500 in damages. The jury found, however, that Hartford could not be liable for Miller’s injuries. Miller, Guillet and Kustom appealed. The appeals court affirmed in regard to Hartford’s liability, but reversed the judgment as to Kustom, holding that Kustom was not vicariously liable for the acts of Keating, Howren, and Guillet. Miller appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Calogero, J.)

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