Mom sues neighbor for 'clotheslining' trespassing son

David Yates Sep. 14, 2010, 1:59pm

Claiming a neighbor negligently strung weed eater wire in an area where children ride their bikes to school at neck level, Jody Layne of Port Neches filed a lawsuit over injuries her son sustained.

According to the suit filed Sept. 9 in Jefferson County District Court, Skylar Clark trespassed on Gertrude Blackwell's Port Neches property. As he cut across her driveway, he rode into a piece of the wire strung across a tree and telephone poll, clotheslining him to the ground.

The suit states Clark cut across the corner of Blackwell's driveway on May 6, "as he and many other children had done on numerous occasions," while riding his bike to school.

"The defendant strung ... weed-eater wire neck high between a tree and telephone pole across the area the children rode their bikes," the suit states. "Skylar rode into the wire, hitting him in the face and mouth and knocking him from his bike."

In her petition, Layne admits her son was trespassing; but maintains, however, that Blackwell had a "duty to keep land known to be subject to the trespasses of young children free from artificial conditions involving an unreasonable risk of harm."

On top of exemplary damages, Layne is suing for her son's mental anguish, pain and medical expenses.

She is represented by Beaumont attorney Brett Thomas, a partner at the Roebuck, Thomas & Adams law firm.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D188-066

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