Plaintiff asks for a new trial, then fails to show for hearing

David Yates Jan. 25, 2012, 11:00am


At the last moment, a plaintiff requesting a new trial withdrew the motion, leaving the defendant standing alone in a courtroom for the hearing Wednesday morning.

Danielle Licatino filed suit against R&S Transport Co. Inc. and its owner Courtlon David Rivette on Sept. 7, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging Rivette caused an automobile collision.

A year later, on Nov. 18 Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted Rivette's motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the claim exceeded the two year statue of limitations.

Court records show that on Dec. 22 Licatino, through her attorney Charlton Hornsby, filed a motion for a new trial, asserting that computer problems prevented counsel from responding to the defendant's motion for summary judgment.

The hearing for a new trial was held Jan. 25.

However, the plaintiff's attorney withdrew the motion. Representation for the defendant still appeared for the hearing, according to a courthouse official.

In her original petition, Licatino says she was riding as a passenger in a Chevy Suburban on Sept. 6, 2008, when the vehicle was struck by a Suburban driven by Rivette.

"It is Plaintiff's belief that Defendant R&S owned and/or controlled and/or maintained the suburban that its employee, David Rivette, was operating," the suit states.

"Defendant Rivette was the driver of the suburban, and was acting within his course and scope of his employment with Defendant R&S and had a duty to exercise ordinary care and operate the suburban reasonably and prudently."

Licatino was seeking damages for past and future physical pain, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment and medical expenses. She is also asking for interest, costs and other relief the court deems appropriate.

Rivette is represented by Houston attorney David Oubre of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith.

Case No. E188-011

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