Defendant says he’s not liable for man’s fall while pruning tree

David Yates Oct. 25, 2013, 11:17am

Beaumont local Douglas Turnbull has answered litigation brought by Kountze resident Clifford Cole, who claims Turnbull indirectly caused him to be struck by a tree limb and fall 25 feet.

As previously reported, the suit was filed Jan. 24 in Jefferson County District Court. 

Court records show that Turnbull answered the suit on March 26, asserting a general denial.

The answer also states that Turnbull is not liable in the capacity in which he is being sued.

According to the lawsuit, on April 9, 2011, Cole was assisting in removing trees and tree limbs on property owned by Turnbull when, without warning, Turnbull pulled a rope attached to a tree with his truck, causing Cole to be struck in the abdomen by a large limb and plunge approximately 25 feet to the ground.

“This fall resulted in the injuries and damages complained of herin,” the suit states. “Plaintiff would show that the defendant owed a duty to plaintiff to use ordinary care.”

Cole fractured several ribs in the fall and suffered multiple fractures of the pelvic ring, the suit states.

The suit further sates Turnbull failed to use ordinary care and improperly used his motor vehicle to assist in the work.

Cole is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages.

Beaumont attorney Jonathan Juhan represents him.

Turnbull is represented by Dean Brinkley, attorney for the Beaumont firm Templeton & Brinkley.

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

Case No. D193-856

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