Louisiana Supreme Court Rules on Interruption and Renunciation of Prescription

In Torres v. Louisiana Shrimp and Packaging Company, 09-2792 (La.4/9/10), the Louisiana Supreme Court reversed the lower courts’ ruling granting defendant’s exception of prescription, because a timely filed tort suit interrupts the running of prescription on a workers’ compensation claim, and because once a party withdraws a plea of prescription, or renounces prescription, he may not re-urge the plea:

“WRIT GRANTED. It is not disputed by the parties that a timely filed tort suit interrupts the running of prescription on a workers’ compensation claim. Isaac v. Lathan, 01-2639, pp. 4-6 (La.App. 1 Cir. 11/8/02), 836 So.2d 191, 194-95. In this case, the tort suit filed by the relator against the respondent was dismissed by judgment of the trial court after the withdrawal of the respondent’s prescription exception. When a party withdraws a plea of prescription in the trial court, he thereby renounces the prescription originally pleaded and, having thus abandoned it, may not thereafter re-urge it. Foster v. Breaux, 263 La. 1112, 270 So.2d 526, 529 (1972). Accordingly, the timely tort suit interrupted the running of the prescriptive period for filing relator’s workers’ compensation claim. Moreover, having abandoned the prescription objection to the timeliness of the tort suit, respondent may not now reurge it. Therefore, the ruling by the trial court granting respondent’s exception of prescription, and the court of appeal decision affirming the ruling, are reversed. The case is remanded to the office of workers’ compensation for further proceedings consistent with the views expressed herein.”

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