Louisiana Dept. of Transport. & Dev. v. Oilfield Heavy Haulers, LLCAnnotate this Case
The issue before the Supreme Court was whether scheduling a discovery conference pursuant to Rule 10.1 of the Rules for Louisiana District Courts constitutes a "step" in the prosecution or defense of an action sufficient to prevent abandonment of the action under La. Code Civ. Proc. art. 561. After Plaintiff Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) failed to timely respond to discovery requests, Defendant Oilfield Heavy Haulers, L.L.C. (OHH) sent a letter to DOTD requesting a Rule 10.1 discovery conference. Subsequently, DOTD served its discovery responses on OHH, but neglected to serve the other defendants. No formal action occurred in the case until April 22, 2010, when the District Court granted defendants’ ex parte motion for an order of dismissal on the basis of abandonment. The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding DOTD's discovery responses and OHH's letter did not constitute "steps" in the prosecution or defense of the action. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to address the correctness vel non of the appellate court's decision. The Court found that scheduling a Rule 10.1 conference constitutes a "step" in the prosecution or defense of an action sufficient to interrupt abandonment. Therefore, the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeal and remand to the District Court for further proceedings.