Monday, August 26, 2013

Justice for Toots

Toots Hibbert, the legendary lead singer of Toots and the Maytals, wants justice. He wants to see the culprits pay. The culprits in this case include all of the people he holds responsible for the injuries he sustained during a live performance in Richmond on May 18, 2013.

That night, while on a Brown’s Island stage at the Dominion Riverrock festival, Hibbert (pictured above) was struck in the head by a flying bottle of Grey Goose vodka.

William Connor Lewis, 19, a college student who lives in Henrico County, was arrested and has been charged with being the bottle-thrower. Accordingly, on June 4, Hibbert, 67, filed a $21 million lawsuit against Lewis. On top of the lawsuit, Lewis is facing a felony malicious wounding charge.

More recently, according to a second Richmond Times-Dispatch article, Hibbert has filed a $20 million lawsuit against local entities his lawyers believe they can show are also culpable, in that their negligence facilitated the incident in which Hibbert was injured. Those named in the new lawsuit include Venture Richmond and the Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers.

Who knows how this will be settled?

Well, due to his unfortunate accuracy with throwing a bottle Lewis is probably looking at doing some time. How much is anybody's guess. But it’s most likely the lawsuit part of this story will end with settlements in both cases. The figures will probably be less than $21 million and $20 million, respectively.

Those two numbers were the opening salvos of battles that will play out in the months ahead. No doubt, how seriously Hibbert was injured will be important. What his losses have been and can be anticipated to be will be considered. Eventually, all the lawyers will come to some sort of agreement. That’s how matters like this are handled in our society.

Instead of throttling the people he holds responsible for his troubles, or merely sucking it up and going away, Hibbert is relying on the American legal system to deliver up some justice.

Nonetheless, if you read the comments under the RT-D article about the most recent lawsuit, it appears some people think the money is excessive, so now those named in the lawsuits as defendants are the true victims.


Moreover, it appears some of the RT-D's readers are so twisted they see Toots Hibbert as a con man for turning to courts for relief. Comments also mention what good people the local promoters of the ill-fated concert are, as if that matters when considering their possible culpability.

OK, I’m not really all that surprised. Crazy, bitter people frequently dominate the comments sections under newspaper articles. In this instance I’m just glad I don’t know any of them (so far).

What has been surprising has been the similar comments on Facebook from people I do know. Some of them are my so-called "friends" who are exposing an ignorance, or perhaps a prejudice, that has been quite surprising. They ought to know better ... or at least pretend they do. 

-- Image from the Richmond Times-Dispatch

No comments: