Business owner sues neighboring business after falling in hole dug during construction

By Kyle Barnett | Aug 20, 2013

GRETNA – A Jefferson Parish business owner is suing against a neighboring business that dug a hole in the ground that he fell during a construction project.

Frederick Helwig filed suit against H.P.B. Inc., Chuckaluck Inc., In & Out Express Car Wash, 1607-17 Veterans Blvd. LLC, Charles L. Bernard and Lionel J. Bernard in the 24th Judicial District Court on June 17.

Helwig claims that H.P.B. Inc. was contracted by the other defendants to do construction work on the In & Out Car Wash located next to his business Buddy’s Po-Boys. The plaintiff alleges that he was entering his business through the rear door but his regular pathway was blocked by scaffolding and a construction dumpsters and he was forced to walk in between them.

Helwig asserts that as he was making his way to the back door he stepped into a hole that was 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet deep and contained pipe. The defendant claims he suffered injuries in the incident to his lower back, leg, arm, stomach, kidneys and genitalia.

The defendant is accused of blocking and obstructing the safest pathway to the rear of the business, placing of construction materials and a large construction debris dumpster in such a way as to entice or force the plaintiff to walk between the two, placing a large hole directly in between the construction debris and the construction materials and failing to mark or block off the area.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, medical expenses, lost wages, lost income, loss of earning capacity, permanent disability, loss of function and loss of enjoyment of life.

Helwig is represented by attorney Mark W. Smith of Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division P Judge Lee V. Faulkner Jr.

Case no. 728-005.

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