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Louisiana Law Provides a Remedy Like That for Conversion
Description Scrap dealer ignored instructions not to scrap certain parts of an oil rig. Rig owner sued for the value of the destroyed property. Louisiana high court held that civil law did not provide for common law conversion, but allowed civil remedy for destruction of movable property that is much the same as conversion.
Topic Torts
Key Words Conversion
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Defendants agreed to buy an inoperative off-shore oil rig from Dual Drilling, but the contract for sale stated that Dual would retain several parts of the rig. Defendants sold the rig for scrap. Due to confusion at the scrap yard, the entire rig was destroyed, including the parts Dual was to have kept. Trial court awarded Dual the value of the parts of the rig that were supposed to have been saved. Defendants appealed.
Decision The Civil Code of Louisiana does not identify the action of "conversion," a common law notion, but its "remedies amply protect personal and real rights in movable property," and thus, provide a remedy akin to conversion. "The owner of a movable wrongfully converted and subsequently destroyed certainly has the right to recover the property's value" at the time of conversion. The trial court must calculate the market value of the used equipment at the time it was converted.
Citation Dual Drilling Co. v. Mills Equipment Investments, Inc., 721 So.2d 853 (Sup. Ct., La., 1998)

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