Submit your questions to email@example.com. Civil matters only, please.
Question: “I purchased some bad gas from a local gas station. As a result, my car had to be towed. The dealership that fixed my car took a sample of the gas from my gas tank and confirmed that water existed in the gas. Although my auto-insurance covered the $2000 in damages, I had to pay a $500 deductible. The gas station denied liability.
Can I be reimbursed the $500 I had to pay out of pocket by the gas station?”
Answer: If you can prove that water existed in the gas pump from the gas station where you purchased the gas you may have a shot at proving causation, and, in turn, be reimbursed your $500. Since the gas station denied liability, you would have to file a small claim civil action in an attempt to be reimbursed which may not be worth the headache.
Louisiana Civil Code Article reads, “Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it”.
The problem is that $500.00 is probably not worth the court costs, time and effort unless you can prove that the station knew it was selling bad gas.
Under Louisiana Civil Code Art 2315, Liability for acts causing damages:
A. Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.
Question: "Over a year ago I was involved in a hit/run accident. The driver of another vehicle swerved into my lane and struck my rear bumper then sped off. I was able to get the passenger’s attention who was sitting in the front passenger seat in an attempt for them to stop the vehicle. Suddenly, the passenger brandishes a handgun and pointed it at me, causing me to swerve and hit a curb out of fear for my life. I have had nightmares ever since.
How long do I have to bring a civil suit against the passenger for assaulting me with a firearm from the time of incident?"
Answer: In your case, you have a liberative prescriptive period of two years from date of injury or damages sustained to bring a civil action for intentional torts since the passenger intentionally assaulted you with the firearm by pointing a gun at you, which is a crime of violence under Louisiana law.
The liberative prescriptive period for unintentional torts is one year from date of injury or damages sustained.
Under Louisiana Civil Code Art 3493.10.
Delictual actions which arise due to damages sustained as a result of an act defined as a crime of violence under Chapter 1 of Title 14 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, except as provided in Article 3496.2, are subject to a liberative prescription of two years. This prescription commences from the day injury or damage is sustained.
Question: "I recently moved into Calcasieu Parish from Orleans Parish for a supervisory position at a local hotel. The general manager advised me that I would get $2,500 in relocation pay after 30 days of continuing employment with the hotel chain. The general manager was well aware that I was moving from Orleans Parish. I had showed him pictures of the new house I had purchased in Calcasieu Parish due to the recent move for work. After three weeks of employment with the hotel chain, I was terminated. When I inquired as to the reasons for my termination, I was advised that my services were no longer needed. I just bought this house and I am out of money until I can find a job that will afford me to cover my bills.
Can I at least get a severance package from the hotel chain to tide me over until I can find another job?"
Answer: The hotel may be liable to you for money damages for the expenses you incurred for the move and perhaps a reasonable amount you would have likely earned for a couple of months. Because you relied on the general manager’s promise that you would be employed for at least longer than a period of three weeks, you purchased a home, and relocated from Orleans Parish. The Court may favor you because of your hardship.
However, Louisiana is an at-will employment state. This means that an employer can terminate your services at any time just as you can quit anytime you decide to.
Louisiana Civil Code Art. 1967. Cause defined; detrimental reliance
Cause is the reason why a party obligates himself.
A party may be obligated by a promise when he knew or should have known that the promise would induce the other party to rely on it to his detriment and the other party was reasonable in so relying. Recovery may be limited to the expenses incurred or the damages suffered as a result of the promisee's reliance on the promise. Reliance on a gratuitous promise made without required formalities is not reasonable.
Louisiana Civil Code Art. 2747. Contract of servant terminable at will of parties.
A man is at liberty to dismiss a hired servant attached to his person or family, without assigning any reason for so doing. The servant is also free to depart without assigning any cause.
Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.