Opera singer sues for loss of vocal range after throat allegedly caught by Cox cable line

NEW ORLEANS – A former opera singer who was allegedly hung up in low-hanging cable while riding his bike is suing Cox and others for permanent damage to his vocal chords.

Guy Tem filed suit against Cox Communications Louisiana LLC, 1st Street Racquet Club LLC, Picardie Timer Frame LLC, Urban Roots LLC and National Union Fire Insurance Company in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The plaintiff claims that while riding his bike, his neck caught on a low-hanging cable, wrenching him off his bicycle and dragging him to the ground. Tem explains that when he sought treatment at a local hospital, a medical specialist for professional singers informed Tem that he had suffered permanent damage to his neck and voice.

Tem had previously performed as a baritone for the New Orleans Opera Association, New Fangled Opera Company and Jefferson Performing Arts Society.

alleges that the defendants are responsible for damaging his vocal range, vocal chords and related muscles and nerves to the extent that he is no longer able to earn his livelihood as a professional singer and private voice instructor.

The defendants are the owners, leasing company and lessees of the properties across which the cable was hung. Cox cable is also named as a party responsible for the installation, erection, construction, operation, maintenance, repair, reconstruction and oversight of safety standards. They are accused of breach of duty for reasonable care, negligence, and reckless, willful and wanton conduct for failure to avoid the accident.

An undisclosed amount in damages is sought for the plaintiff’s permanent physical injury, pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional pain, mental anguish, disability, attorneys’ fees and costs of the proceedings.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Douglass M. Schmidt of Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Sidney H. Cates IV.

Case no. 2013-08530.

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