Tree cutter admits that he was liable for his own alleged injuries in suit against homeowner

Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Jul. 28, 2015, 9:29am


A tree cutter who originally sued a homeowner after he fell out of the tree while sawing off limbs has admitted that the defendant is not liable for his alleged injuries and that he climbed the tree of his own accord.

Plaintiff Cody LaFarge’s May 29 admission states that he is not holding defendant Kelly Thurman responsible for him falling out of the tree on the defendant’s property.

“At no time did Kelly direct me to climb into the tree. This was done on my own accord. Me being an experienced tree trimmer, I should’ve known better and had safety lines attached. Had I done that, I never would’ve been injured. This is not Kelly’s fault. I realize that and I am dropping all the claims against him,” LaFarge wrote.

LaFarge filed a lawsuit in October that alleges he was working for Thurman on June 6, when he was instructed to climb into a tree at Thurman’s farm in Belleville to saw off limbs.

LaFarge claims Thurman did not provide him with a safe place to work, failed to provide him with proper machinery or safety equipment and didn’t supervise him while he was cutting the tree.

Lafarge alleges he sustained severe and permanent injuries to his head and body, became sick, sore, lame and disordered, and endured great physical pain and mental anguish. He also claims he was unable to attend to his usual duties, deprived of wages and incurred medical costs.

Thurman filed a motion for summary judgment through attorney Richard E. Boyle of Boyle Brasher in Belleville on June 9. He argues that there is no genuine issues of material fact.

Thurman explains that LaFarge claims he was injured as a result of alleged negligence on the part of the defendant. However, he established in his admissions that “there was no negligence on the part of Kelly Thurman which proximately caused his injury and that his injury was the result of plaintiff’s own negligence,” the motion states.

Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson scheduled a motion hearing to address Thurman’s motion for summary judgment on Aug. 4 at 9 a.m.

LaFarge sought a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Richard E. Boyle of Boyle Brasher LLC in Belleville represents Thurman.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-696

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