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Walker v. Holt
Louisiana Court of Appeal
888 So. 2d 255 (2004)
Graham Smith, Sr. (defendant) owned an undivided one-half interest in a property and was the usufructuary of the other one-half interest. Four of Smith’s children, Kathy Holt, Elizabeth Distefano, Anita Campo, and Graham Smith, Jr. (defendants), were the naked owners of an undivided one-twelfth interest in the property. Holt lived in the property with her husband. Frederick Walker (plaintiff) was injured on the property when he stepped in a hole while delivering gas for his employer. Walker sued the Holts, Smith, Sr., and the nonresident siblings. Walker’s employer’s workers’-compensation insurer also filed suit against the same parties to recover amounts it had paid out for Walker’s injury, and that suit was consolidated with Walker’s. After various proceedings at the trial-court level, the court eventually granted the nonresident siblings’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the nonresident siblings, as naked owners, did not have a duty to inspect or maintain the property. Walker and the insurance agency appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)
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