Michelle Keahey Apr. 19, 2013, 10:01am

NEW ORLEANS - After striking an unlighted structure with his skiff, a Louisiana man has filed a lawsuit against the Town of Pearl River claiming that town is negligent for failing to take down the unmarked support pilings from a bridge across a tributary of the Pearl River.

Jennifer Elizabeth Lee and Craig Lee filed suit against Pearl River Basin Land and Development Co., the Town of Pearl River, ABC Insurance Co., DEF Insurance Co. and XYZ Insurance Co. on April 1 in federal court in New Orleans.

The accident occurred on April 1, 2012 as Craig Lee was operating his skiff in the “pump slew,” a tributary of the Pearl River, when his skiff struck an unmarked and unlighted structure that he later discovered to be support pilings.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to act as a reasonable person would act under the same or similar circumstances, failing to use reasonable care in the construction and maintenance of its property and works, failing to adequately mark and light the bridge support pilings it had affixed to the bed of the “pump slew,” failing to warn the boating public of the dangers of the support pilings, failing to remove the bridge and support pilings promptly as the defendant requested or received permission to erect a temporary bridge, structure and pilings, and for failing to obtain necessary permissions and permits from the required governmental agencies.

The Town of Pearl River owned or maintained the property which the bridge was attached and allegedly had a duty to ensure that it did not represent a hazard to Lee, the suit claims.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of $2 million in damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss and diminution of earning capacity, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, pecuniary loss, loss of consortium, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by New Orleans attorneys Richard H. Barker, IV and Jack W. Harang.

Case No. 2:13-cv-00590

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