Manuel v. Carolina Cas. Ins. Co., No. 350

CourtCourt of Appeal of Louisiana (US)
Writing for the CourtHOOD
Citation136 So.2d 275
Docket NumberNo. 350
Decision Date11 December 1961
PartiesHelen Mae MANUEL, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CAROLINA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY et al., Defendants and Appellees.

Page 275

136 So.2d 275
Helen Mae MANUEL, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CAROLINA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY et al., Defendants and Appellees.
No. 350.
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit.
Dec. 11, 1961.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 15, 1962.
Certiorari Denied March 16, 1962.

Page 276

Tate & Tate, by Paul C. Tate, Mamou, for plaintiffs-appellants.

Dubuisson & Dubuisson, by W. A. Brinkhaus, Opelousas, for defendants-appellees.

Before FRUGE , CULPEPPER and HOOD, JJ.

HOOD, Judge.

This is a damage suit instituted by Helen Mae Manuel against Employers Fire Insurance Company and Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, arising out of a motor vehicle collision in which plaintiff's mother, Mrs. Mona Ardoin Manuel, was killed almost instantly. According to the allegations contained in plaintiff's petition, the accident occurred on January 27, 1960. One of the vehicles involved in the accident was an automobile owned and operated by Actuel Manuel, in which vehicle the decedent was riding as a guest passenger, and the other vehicle was a G.M.C. truck and trailer, owned by Oil Field Truck Lines, Inc. Plaintiff alleges that at the time the accident occurred, Carolina Casualty Insurance Company was the public liability insurer of the owner of the G.M.C. truck and trailer, and that Employers Fire Insurance Company was the public liability insurer of Actual Manuel, the owner and operator of the automobile.

The decedent, Mrs. Manuel, left as her sole survivors her husband, Gustave Manuel, and seven children, all of whom were of legal age of majority at the time of her death. On October 10, 1960, Gustave Manuel, the surviving husband, instituted suit entitled Manuel v. Fire Ins. Co., Employers' bearing Number 352 of our docket, 136 So.2d 282, in which suit he not only seeks to recover for his own personal injuries, but also he demands (1) damages for the wrongful death of his wife, and (2) the damages which the deceased could have recovered had she lived.

After that suit had been filed, Helen Mae Manuel, one of the major children of the decedent, then instituted the instant suit in which she also demands damages for the wrongful death of her mother and for the damages which her mother may have recovered had she lived. Two other damage suits, arising out of the same accident, also were filed, in which suits all of the other surviving children of the decedent joined as parties-plaintiff, seeking the same types of damages. These additional suits are entitled Duplechin et al. v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Company et al., Number 351, La.App., 136 So.2d 281, and Manuel et al. v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Company et al., Number 353, La.App., 136 So.2d 282.

While these suits were pending, American Employers Insurance Company, alleging that it actually was the public liability insurer of Actuel Manuel at the time of the accident instead of Employers Fire Insurance Company, voluntarily substituted itself as a party-defendant in all of the suits. This substituted defendant thereupon deposited in the Registry of the Court the sum of $10,194.44, being the maximum amount for which it could be held liable under the insurance policy issued by it, and all parties have stipulated that in view of this deposit American Employers Insurance Company and Employers Fire Insurance Company are relieved of any further liability.

Answers were filed by the defendants in the action instituted by Gustave Manuel, Number 352, but the case has never been tried and no final judgment has been rendered in that suit. In all three suits instituted by the major children of the decedent, however, exceptions of no right and no cause of action were filed by Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, one of the defendants

Page 277

named in each such suit. All of these cases were consolidated for the trial of the exceptions pending in the three suits last mentioned, and after such trial judgment was rendered in each of those three cases, including the instant suit, sustaining the exceptions of no cause and no right of action and dismissing the suits. Plaintiffs in each of those three suits, being all of the major children of the decedent, have appealed.

Counsel for all parties agree that Article 2315 of the Revised Civil Code, prior to its recent amendment by Act 30 of 1960, would have barred a suit by major children for the wrongful death of their mother or from maintaining a survival action, when the husband of the decedent survives. They also agree that after the amendment of that article of the Code by Act 30 of 1960, which amendment became effective January 1, 1961, the major children do have the right to recover damages for the wrongful death of their mother, and the right to maintain a survival action, even though the husband survives. At the time the accident in this case occurred, therefore, plaintiff did not have the right to maintain the type of action which has been instituted here. About eleven months after the accident and death occurred, however, Article 2315 of the LSA-Civil Code was amended to grant to the major children the right to maintain this type of suit. The real issue presented here, therefore, is whether Act 30 of 1960 may or may not be applied retroactively.

Plaintiff contends, primarily, that the act must be given retrospective effect because it makes only a Procedural, and not a Substantive, change in the law, and that procedural and remedical enactments operate retrospectively, unless a contrary intent is expressed by the Legislature.

In that connection counsel for plaintiff argues that a 'cause of action' existed at the time the accident and death occurred and that Act 30 of 1960 merely extended or broadened the 'right of action' to include as beneficiaries the major children, as well as the surviving spouse and minor children of the decedent. Since the cause of action already existed, it is argued, the extending of the right of action to include other persons merely deals with procedural and not with substantive rights.

The term 'substantive law' is defined in Black's Law Dictionary, Fourth Edition, as:

'That part of law which creates, defines, and regulates rights, as opposed to 'adjective or remedial law,' which prescribed method of enforcing the rights or obtaining redress for their invasion. Maurizi v. Western Coal & Mining Co., 321 Mo. 378, 11 S.W.2d 268, 272; Mix v. Board of Com'rs of Nez Perce County, 18 Idaho, 695, 112 P. 215, 220, 32 L.R.A.,N.S., 534.'

In Matney v. Blue Ribbon, La.App. 2 Cir., 12 So.2d 249, 253 (Affirmed by Supreme Court, 202 La. 505, 12 So.2d 253), the Second Circuit Court of Appeal said:

'Black's Law Dictionary, 3d Ed., defines 'substantive law' to be that part of the law which courts are established to administer as opposed to the rule according to which the substantive law itself is administered. It is that part of the law which...

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36 practice notes
  • St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Smith, No. 92-C-1043
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • November 30, 1992
    ...be given only prospective effect. Indeed, we find the following observation made by the court in Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 136 So.2d 275, 281 (La.App. 3d Cir.1961), equally apt here: "[c]ounsel for plaintiff has given us no satisfactory explanation as to why the Legislature woul......
  • Frito-Lay, Inc. v. Wapco Constructors, Inc., Civ. A. No. 81-147-B.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Middle District of Louisiana
    • August 17, 1981
    ...recover punitive damages and attorney fees under article 2315.1 is a "substantive" law. In Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, 136 So.2d 275 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1961), the Court defined "substantive law" as "The term `substantive law' is defined in Black's Law Dictionary Fourth Editi......
  • Pierce v. Hobart Corp., No. 90-3640
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 3, 1991
    ...60 days after the adjournment of the legislative session. La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 19 (1974). Cf. Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 136 So.2d 275, 281 (La.App.1961) ("Counsel for plaintiff has given us no satisfactory explanation as to why the Legislature would specifically provide that t......
  • State v. Herbert, No. 76-311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 30, 1976
    ...Ohio St.2d 175, 178, 228 N.E.2d 621; State v. Elmore (1934), 179 La. 1057, 155 So. 896; Manuel v. Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. (La.App.1961), 136 So.2d 275; 40 Words and Phrases (Perm.Ed.), Substantive Law 857; Hicksville v. Blakeslee (1921), 103 Ohio St. 508, 134 N.E. Accordingly, these sections......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
36 cases
  • St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Smith, No. 92-C-1043
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Louisiana
    • November 30, 1992
    ...be given only prospective effect. Indeed, we find the following observation made by the court in Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 136 So.2d 275, 281 (La.App. 3d Cir.1961), equally apt here: "[c]ounsel for plaintiff has given us no satisfactory explanation as to why the Legislature woul......
  • Frito-Lay, Inc. v. Wapco Constructors, Inc., Civ. A. No. 81-147-B.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Middle District of Louisiana
    • August 17, 1981
    ...recover punitive damages and attorney fees under article 2315.1 is a "substantive" law. In Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Company, 136 So.2d 275 (La.App. 3 Cir. 1961), the Court defined "substantive law" as "The term `substantive law' is defined in Black's Law Dictionary Fourth Editi......
  • Pierce v. Hobart Corp., No. 90-3640
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 3, 1991
    ...60 days after the adjournment of the legislative session. La. Const. Art. 3 Sec. 19 (1974). Cf. Manuel v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 136 So.2d 275, 281 (La.App.1961) ("Counsel for plaintiff has given us no satisfactory explanation as to why the Legislature would specifically provide that t......
  • State v. Herbert, No. 76-311
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • December 30, 1976
    ...Ohio St.2d 175, 178, 228 N.E.2d 621; State v. Elmore (1934), 179 La. 1057, 155 So. 896; Manuel v. Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. (La.App.1961), 136 So.2d 275; 40 Words and Phrases (Perm.Ed.), Substantive Law 857; Hicksville v. Blakeslee (1921), 103 Ohio St. 508, 134 N.E. Accordingly, these sections......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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