BUFKIN, JR. v. FELIPE'S LOUISIANA, LLC, ET AL.Annotate this Case
This case has its roots in 2011, where, at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon, Royce Bufkin, Jr. was walking through the French Quarter from a jewelry store on Royal Street to a wine shop on Chartres Street, via Conti Street. Outside a building under renovation at 622 Conti Street, Bufkin encountered a construction barrier blocking the sidewalk, which directed pedestrians to use the sidewalk on the other side of the street. At this location, there was also a large construction dumpster placed on several adjacent on-street parking spaces by Shamrock Construction Co., Inc., in connection with renovations it had contracted to make at 622 Conti Street. While attempting to cross the street by the dumpster, Bufkin was hit by a bicyclist and injured. At the time of the accident, the bicyclist, was working in the course and scope of his employment as a deliveryman for Felipe’s Louisiana, LLC d/b/a Felipe’s Taqueria Restaurant, was traveling in the wrong direction (away from the river) on Conti Street. Bufkin had stopped before crossing Conti, next to the dumpster, to allow two cars to pass, but failed to look to his right before crossing the street, and he did not see the bicyclist approaching. The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether Shamrock breached any legal duty owed to a pedestrian crossing a street next to the contractor’s dumpster, who was then struck by an oncoming bicyclist. After a thorough review of the record presented, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that the dumpster was obvious and apparent, and not unreasonably dangerous; thus, there was no duty to warn of the clearly visible obstruction, and the district court erred in failing to grant summary judgment dismissing the contractor.