White v. City of Kenner

White v. City of Kenner
(December 2008)

McCranie Sistrunk Attorneys, representing the interest of the Kenner Police Department, prevailed through motion practice resulting in the dismissal of the plaintiff’s suit. Lloyd White was allegedly injured when he was a passenger in a vehicle which collided with an 18-wheel truck. White claimed that another vehicle’s movement had caused the driver of his vehicle to collide with the truck. The Kenner Police Officer who investigated the accident determined that the other vehicle was not involved in the accident and did not memorialize any information pertaining to the other vehicle or its driver in the police report. White subsequently filed suit, naming the City of Kenner through its Police Department, claiming he was deprived of the right to sue the other driver because of the officer. Specifically, White claimed that the officer breached his duty under La. R.S. 32:398(D) which sets forth the criteria for investigating an accident. White also claimed the officer violated La. R.S. 14:133 by filing a police report which contained allegedly “false statements.” In affirming the 24th Judicial District Court’s judgment, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal held that the officer, in complying with his statutory duty to investigate the accident, was within his discretion in determining that the other vehicle was not involved in the accident and further found that the officer did not knowingly or intentionally file any false documents. The Louisiana Supreme Court denied writs to review the Fifth Circuit’s ruling.