Date of Verdict: Feb. 12.
Court and Case No.: Eastern District of Pennsylvania No. 12-597.
Judge: Jan E. DuBois.
Type of Action: Personal Injury.
Injuries: Cracked skull.
Plaintiffs Counsel: Neil E. Jokelson, Neil E. Jokelson & Associates, Philadelphia.
Defense Counsel: John J. Delany, Delany & O’Brien, Woodbury, N.J.
Comment: Four years after the lead singer of the band Fishbone cracked the skull of a concertgoer with a stage dive, a federal judge has entered a judgment of $1.4 million against members of the band.
Kimberly Myers, who attended the February 2010 concert at the World Cafe Live in University City where Fishbone was the opening act, has had severe and persistent medical problems from the injuries she suffered when Angelo Moore dove from the stage and into the crowd where she was standing, U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found.
DuBois explained his findings in a written opinion.
He entered judgment against Moore and the band’s bassist, John Norwood Fisher, for $1.1 million in compensatory damages and a judgment against Moore for $250,000 in punitive damages.
“Moore, who refused to answer questions at his deposition regarding his use of illicit drugs on the date of the incident in question, intentionally dove from an elevated stage despite knowing that stage diving in and of itself poses a serious risk of harm to audience members. Further, Moore exhibits little remorse or impetus to change his conduct,” DuBois said in his discussion of punitive damages.
“Moore continues to stage dive at almost every performance and exhibits nothing but apathy … towards his victims, whom he repeatedly characterized, during his deposition, as ‘predators’ out to steal his money,” DuBois said.
During his deposition, “Moore invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in response to the question of ‘whether or not [he] did any drugs for the World Cafe Live show on February 23, 2010,’” DuBois said. “The court infers from Moore’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment that his testimony would have been unfavorable to his interests.”
Neil E. Jokelson handled the case for Myers.
John J. Delany is the only defense counsel listed on the docket for Fishbone, but he was subsequently listed as terminated from the case. He did not return a phone call seeking comment. A publicist for the band also did not return a call seeking comment.
— Saranac Hale Spencer, of the Law Weekly •