Eight months after being sued, a defendant charged with dropping a boat on an employee's leg has answered the lawsuit.

As previously reported, Ricky Alan Hill filed suit against James McKellar on Aug. 23 in Jefferson County District Court, claiming McKellar hired him to clear land in Nome.

Court records show that McKellar answered Hill's amended petition on April 15, asserting that Hill was an independent contractor who was not under his supervision.

McKellar did not answer the first suit. The petition was amended and reserved on March 17, court papers say.

In his answer, McKellar asserts a general denial and claims the incident was "unavoidable."

According to the complaint, the incident occurred when Hill tried to help move a boat on McKellar's land.

"Chris McKellar pushed the boat and a landing gear failed," the suit states. "The boat fell on Ricky Alan Hill trapping him underneath."

Because of the incident, Hill had to undergo surgery to fix his left leg and experienced physical pain, suffering and anguish, the complaint says.

Hill seeks a judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Scott Renick of Beaumont represents him.

Germer Gertz attorney James Henges of Beaumont represents McKeller.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. A187-726

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