Walter Pierce

Barbecue joint back in the fryer

by Walter Pierce

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated a Lafayette barbecue vendor into a civil lawsuit.

The case, Louis Robinson Jr. versus Tylan Meaux et al, stems from an Aug. 1, 2006 wreck on Evangeline Thruway in which a pick-up truck driven by Meaux lost control while turning onto the thruway from Pinhook Road, flipped several times and struck Robinson, who was riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Robinson was paralyzed as a result of his injuries and filed suit seeking damages. Lil D’s Barbeque, which operates in the Champion’s Express Mart at the corner of the thruway and Pinhook, was pulled into the suit when it was alleged that a grease slick on the road resulting from a malfunctioning grease trap operated by Lil D’s was a contributing factor in the accident. Lafayette Consolidated Government is also a defendant in the suit; Robinson contends that LCG inspectors were aware of the malfunctioning grease trap and the hazards it posed.

Lafayette district court Judge Durwood Conque granted Lil D’s a summary judgment and removed the company from the suit. But the three-judge 3rd Circuit panel reversed the judgment, ruling in effect that there was insufficient evidence to absolve Lil D’s of culpability in the accident. The 3rd Circuit remanded the case back to the 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette for further proceedings.