Louisiana Abolishes the Aggressor Doctrine, but Retains Self-Defense

In Landy v. Bellanger, 2002-1443 (La. 5/20/03), 851 So.2d 943, the Louisiana Supreme Court relied on the 1996 tort reform amendment to La. C.C. art. 2323 requiring apportionment of fault to all responsible persons regardless of the theory of liability, to abolish the jurisprudential “aggressor doctrine” which had precluded tort recovery where the plaintiff acted in such a way to provoke a reasonable person to use physical force in fear or anticipation of further injury at the hand of the aggressor plaintiff, unless the person retaliating used excessive force to repel the aggressor. However, the Supreme Court recognized that self-defense remains a valid defense to a battery.