Cupps et al v. Torus Specialty Insurance Company et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 49 Motion for Entry of Judgment under Rule 54(b). Signed by Judge Jane Triche Milazzo. (ecm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
DELLA CUPPS, ET AL.
TORUS SPECIALTY INSURANCE CO. ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is Defendant Torus Specialty Insurance Co.'s Motion for
Entry of Final Judgment (R. Doc. 49). For the following reasons, Defendant's
Motion is GRANTED.
On June 16, 2015, this Court granted Defendant Torus Specialty
Insurance Co's ("Torus") Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds that it
does not owe coverage to Defendant The Cochran Firm ("TCF") in this legal
malpractice action. Pursuant to that order, Torus was dismissed with prejudice
from this matter. TCF is the sole remaining defendant in this action, and it has
not yet been joined. Torus has moved this Court for entry of final judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). Plaintiffs have not opposed
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Rule 54(b) states that:
When an action presents more than one claim for relief—whether as
a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim—or when
multiple parties are involved, the court may direct entry of a final
judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties
only if the court expressly determines that there is no just reason for
According to the Fifth Circuit, "[o]ne of the primary policies behind requiring a
justification for Rule 54(b) certification is to avoid piecemeal appeals."1 Rule
54(b) judgments are not favored and should be awarded only when necessary to
avoid injustice.2 "A district court should grant certification [in a Rule 54(b) case]
only when there exists some danger of hardship or injustice through delay which
would be alleviated by immediate appeal; it should not be entered routinely as
a courtesy to counsel."3
The threshold inquiry for this Court, then, is whether "there is no just
reason for delay."4 This determination is within the sound discretion of the
PYCA Indus., Inc. v. Harrison Cnty. Waste Mgmt., 81 F.3d 1412, 1421 (5th Cir. 1996).
Id. (citing Ansam Assocs., Inc. v. Cola Petroleum, Ltd., 760 F.2d 442, 445 (2d
See Ackerman v. FDIC, 973 F.2d 1221, 1224 (5th Cir. 1992).
district court.5 In making this determination, the district court must weigh "the
inconvenience and costs of piecemeal review" against "the danger of denying
justice by delay."6
This Court holds that there is no just reason to delay the entry of final
judgment of the Court's June 16, 2015 order dismissing Torus.
remaining issues in this case are Plaintiff's allegations of legal malpractice
against TCF. An appeal of this Court's order dismissing Torus would involve
only issues of insurance coverage. Therefore, the entry of final judgment would
not result in piecemeal appeals or force the Fifth Circuit to decide the same issue
twice.7 In addition, TCF has not yet been joined in this action, and therefore, the
protracted delay in bringing this matter to final resolution would prejudice
Road Sprinkler Fitters Local Union v. Cont'l Sprinkler Co., 967 F.2d 145, 148 (5th Cir.
1992) (quoting Dickinson v. Petroleum Conversion Corp., 338 U.S. 507, 511 (1950)).
See Sailboat Bay Apartments, LLC v. United States, No. 14-2344, 2015 WL 3772756,
at *2 (E.D. La. June 17, 2015) ("Accordingly, one factor the Court must consider is whether the
Fifth Circuit would have to decide the same issues more than once if there were subsequent
For the foregoing reasons, the Defendant's Motion is GRANTED, and final
judgment is entered dismissing Torus Specialty Insurance Co. from this case.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 24th day of August, 2015.
JANE TRICHE MILAZZO
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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