MBLB attorneys Mark Hanna and John Zazulak recently secured a summary judgment in favor of their clients, the East Jefferson Levee District (EJLD) and South Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E). A cyclist riding on the levee access road brought claims against these municipal clients for negligence after suffering a fall while riding.
The cyclist asserted a claim against the EJLD, SLFPA-E and the contractors completing some irrigation work on the adjacent levee. The cyclist asserted that the defendants were liable for his injuries because they failed to provide warnings against any potential dangers in the construction zone.
Under La. R.S. 38:301(E)(1), a plaintiff cyclist bringing a claim against a levee district must show that the Levee District acted with gross negligence, i.e., the “entire absence of care” and the utter disregard of prudence, amounting to the complete neglect of the rights of others. In addition, a recreational use immunity applies under La. R.S. 9:2795, when a landowner such as a levee district allows the public to use the land for cycling and other recreational purposes.
The Twenty-Fourth Judicial District Court found that the cyclist could not provide sufficient evidence that the EJLD and SLFPA-E acted with gross negligence resulting in the accident. The Court’s decision resulted in a complete dismissal of all claims against the EJLD and SLFPA-E.
Elmore Tregre, II v. BIS Services, LLC, the East Jefferson Levee District, and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East