Bridgefield Casualty Insurance v. River Oaks Management, Inc.
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [16-30872 Affirmed] Judge: JLW, Judge: JLD, Judge: CH. Mandate pull date is 04/04/2017 [16-30872]
Date Filed: 03/14/2017
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
March 14, 2017
BRIDGEFIELD CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY,
Lyle W. Cayce
Plaintiff - Appellee
RIVER OAKS MANAGEMENT, INCORPORATED,
Defendant - Appellant
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Louisiana
USDC No. 2:12-CV-2336
Before WIENER, DENNIS, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
Defendant-Appellant River Oaks Management, Inc. (River Oaks)
appeals from a final judgment entered by the district court in favor of PlaintiffAppellee Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Co. (Bridgefield) in this declaratory
judgment action. Bridgefield provided River Oaks with workers’ compensation
insurance from 2005 to 2013. Bridgefield contends that it is not required to
pay workers’ compensation for injuries incurred by one of River Oaks’s
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH
CIR. R. 47.5.4.
Date Filed: 03/14/2017
Mississippi employees due to a provision of the applicable policy that required
River Oaks to give notice to Bridgefield that River Oaks had work outside of
Louisiana before out-of-state coverage could be provided. 1 After a bench trial,
the district court concluded that Bridgefield had not waived its right to enforce
the provision because it had not accepted premiums with knowledge of River
Oaks’s Mississippi operations. The only issue on appeal is whether the district
court erred in finding that Bridgefield did not waive its right to enforce this
provision based on a March 2012 premium audit conducted by its agent.
A careful review of the record in this case, a full consideration of the
parties’ briefs and oral arguments on appeal, and a thorough analysis of the
district court’s ruling lead us to conclude that the district court’s judgment
contains no legal error and no clearly erroneous finding of fact. Louisiana law
provides that an insurer waives the right to enforce a power of avoidance or
privilege of forfeiture if it accepts insurance premiums after receiving notice of
facts that would cause a reasonable person to inquire further into whether such
power or privilege existed. See Home Ins. Co. v. Matthews, 998 F.2d 305, 30910 (5th Cir. 1993); Steptore v. Masco Constr. Co., Inc., 643 So.2d 1213, 1216
The district court applied this standard and concluded that
Bridgefield did not accept premiums with such notice because the auditor did
not review the provided documents for the purpose of ascertaining whether
River Oaks was working out of state, and only reviewed the documents
selectively. The district court’s findings are not clearly erroneous. Therefore,
we affirm the district court judgment for essentially the reasons stated by that
A more detailed discussion of the factual history of this case is contained in our
previous opinion. See Bridgefield Cas. Ins. Co. v. River Oaks Mgmt., Inc., 590 F. App’x 308
(5th Cir. 2014).
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?