Lawsuit filed over fatal boat accident at Back Levee Canal

Michelle Keahey Jun. 25, 2012, 2:20am


NEW ORLEANS - The family of a deceased boater has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against another boater for traveling too fast on a blind turn in the Back Levee Canal.

Paula Neal Anderson and Wendy Neal Duncan filed suit against Donald Duplantier, ABC Insurance Co., DEF Insurance Co. and State Farm Insurance Co. on June 13 in federal court in New Orleans.

The boat accident occurred on June 16, 2011 as defendant Duplantier was operating his boat near a blind turn in the Back Levee Canal near Hopedale. According to the lawsuit, Donald Neal Sr. was traveling in the opposite direction near the blind turn and was hit by defendant Duplantier. Neal suffered blunt force fatal injuries.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to maintain reasonable control of his boat, failing to maintain a reasonable distance from obstacles in the waterway, failing to avoid striking an oncoming vessel, failing to travel at a safe speed or to properly and effectively take action to avoid collision, failing to maintain proper lookout, failing to navigate the vessel with complete alertness and caution, negligent failure to provide or maintain reasonably safe equipment and appliances, failing to see what he should have seen and for operating a vessel which was not seaworthy.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for medical expenses, loss of consortium, mental pain and suffering, wrongful death claims, funeral expenses, interest, and attorney's fees.

Anderson is represented by Isaac H. Soileau Jr. of Soileau & Associates in New Orleans and Metairie attorney Charles J. Ferrara. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01512

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