GALVESTON - The defendant in a local man's lawsuit stemming from his alleged fall on its barge wants a higher court to hear the litigation, recent court records state.

Douglas Rutherford is suing Breathwit Marine Contractors Ltd. for more than $1 million over the subject incident which occurred in February.

Rutherford, an employee of non-party Kelso Concrete Co., explains that he was attempting to re-tie some parted mooring lines that rubbed against exposed metal edges in an effort to keep the company's DB3003 deck barge from drifting away when he stepped on a manhole cover and fell in.

According to the plaintiff, the barge’s deckhands negligently tied the lines.

He adds that he seriously and permanently injured his arms, wrists, legs, hips, back and general body, insisting the event was not his fault.

Meanwhile, the respondent submitted a notice of removal to the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas late last month.

The two-page document does not explain why the defendant seeks to have the case argued in Galveston federal court.

In addition to the notice, an original answer was included.

Attorney Thomas R. Nork of Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown, L.L.P. in Houston is representing Breathwit.

Cause No. 70,403

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