Tree cutter accused of trespassing denies affirmative defenses, subpoenas text messages

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 26, 2015


A tree cutter accused of trespassing after he was allegedly hired to trim limbs off trees at a Belleville farm has filed a subpoena with AT&T for all text messages exchanged with specific numbers.

Plaintiff Cody Lafarge filed a lawsuit in October that alleges he was working for defendant Kelly 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.

In turn, 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.

However, in her January answer, Thurman claims Lafarge was trespassing on her property and was allegedly injured as a result of being in a tree.

Lafarge responded to Thurman’s answer on Feb. 26, denying the allegations raised in her affirmative defenses.

Lafarge’s attorney, Christopher B. Hantla of Litchfield, also filed a subpoena, demanding AT&T Corporate Center provide “any and all text messages sent or received from the phone number 618-520-3510 from January 1, 2014, through the present date.”

Lafarge seeks 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 Court case number 14-L-696

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