CLARKSBURG, W.Va. -- A 27-year-old man paralyzed from the chest down during last summer's All Good Music Festival is suing organizers of the event and a Virginia security company whose employees he says contributed to his injuries.
Daniel Weaver of Hudson, N.Y., sued Marvin's Mountaintop LLC, Event Staffing Inc. of Norfolk, Va., and Maryland-based Walther Productions and All Good Presents in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg this week.
The complaint says Weaver ran naked through the festival grounds near Masontown, and staff chased him into the woods. He then jumped into a swampy area, where the employees found him lying down.
Weaver says Event Staffing employees forced him to his feet, carried him by his arms and legs, and deliberately dropped him on the ground.
His lawsuit says those employees should have determined whether he was injured before moving him, then moved him properly.
The defendants hadn't responded as of Thursday.
Weaver says he told the employees he was experiencing severe pain and discomfort. Later, doctors discovered a fracture in his spinal column that left him a quadriplegic.
The lawsuit says Event Staffing failed to provide "a competent security service'' and failed to ensure its employees were properly trained. It contends those employees are guilty of "overreacting and needlessly giving chase to the plaintiff, who was running in a wooded area but constituting no threat to any attendees.''
The Preston County festival drew some 30,000 people in what turned out to be its final year in West Virginia. This year, it's being held July 19-22 in Thornville, Ohio.
The father of a South Carolina woman sued over the death of his daughter, who was killed the same weekend as Weaver was injured. A truck slid down a grassy slope and crashed into the tent where 20-year-old Nicole Miller and two girlfriends from Mount Pleasant, S.C., were sleeping.
Kim Miller's lawsuit and those filed by survivors Rosie Doran and Yen Ton are to be tried together in federal court in Clarksburg in August, unless mediation in June resolves the cases sooner.
Those lawsuits target about a dozen parties, including the driver, Clay Lewin of Cape Charles, Va., promoters, and several parking and security companies.
The defendants, many of whom have since filed cross-claims against each other, include: Event Staffing; Walther Productions president Tim Walther; Marvin's Mountaintop owner Marvin Huggins; promoter Junipa Contento; M&M Parking Inc. of Pennsylvania; and three security providers, National Event Services Inc. of New Hampshire, and Axis Security Inc. of Tennessee.
All have denied culpability.
Lewin acknowledges he lost control of his pickup but blames the parking and security agents who told him to park on a steep, grassy slope near tents and other vehicles.
They were there when he arrived, he says, but no one was present to guide him out when he tried to leave.