Man Injured by Stage Dive at Hardcore Show Wins $2 Million Settlement
Lambgoat reports that 46-year-old police officer Jason Kooken has been awarded a $2 million settlement for injuries sustained as the result of a stage diver at 2017 hardcore show in New Hampshire.
The performance in question was a benefit concert for late Vision frontman Dave Franklin. Bands on the bill included Agnostic Front, Sheer Terror, H2O, and Killing Time.
The stage diver landed on Kooken’s head, which left him temporarily paralyzed and resulted in serious damage to his spine. He has since recovered after undergoing spinal surgery at Jersey Shore Medical Center.
Kooken’s lawyer, Mark Morris, argued that security at the show did nothing to prevent the stage dive from taking place:
“This individual walked right past security, climbed on the stage, pointed and then corkscrewed his body over the band’s lead singer, flipping directly onto Mr. Kooken’s head.”
Asbury Audio, the company Kooken sued, will apparently be covered by insurance. Still, the company’s president, Jason Dermer — who personally donated more than $2,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to help cover Kooken’s medical costs — was displeased by Kooken’s actions:
“I was at the hospital to see him the moment they allowed visitors, bringing vegan meals since the hospital couldn’t. Every member of Agnostic Front stopped in as well… We all became friends. [Kooken] has been a guest in my home. Given the opportunity to let us out on a personal level, [Kooken] declined to do so.
“He was hurt. Permanently injured. That I understand. But to lie/allow people to lie in your name to find your way out of personal responsibility, win a settlement, and then go to/allow his attorneys to go to the press in [this] manner is unacceptable. Insurance paid…oh well. That’s what insurance is for. But what was taken and can never be replaced was the positive memories of doing the one thing that we could for Dave [Franklin]. This is not what ‘friends’, especially in our scene, do to each other.”
You can read Lambgoat’s entire report here.