Suits filed over death at All Good Music Festival

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Oct 12, 2011

CLARKSBURG -- The friend and father of a South Carolina woman killed at this year's All Good Music Festival have filed separate lawsuits in federal court against the festival, its owners, organizers, hosts and traffic and security providers for the event.

The suits were filed Sept. 23 by Kim Miller, individually and on behalf of the estate of Nicole Miller, and Sept. 26 by Yen Ton in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The named defendants include: Walter Productions Inc. d/b/a All Good Festival; All Good Festival Inc.; president and owner Tim Walther; promoter Junipa Contento; Marvin Huggins, an owner of property in which the festival is held; Marvin's Mountaintop LLC; James Carrico, another owner of property in which the festival is held; M & M Parking Inc., which provided parking services for the festival; and security providers Event Staffing Services Inc., National Event Services Inc. and Axis Security Inc.

The plaintiffs also are suing Virginia resident Clay Harlin Lewin, whose pickup truck plowed into Nicole Miller's tent, killing her.

Both Kim Miller and Ton are suing the defendants, including Lewin, for negligence.

Each year, since 2003, the for-profit All Good Music Festival is held at Marvin's Mountaintop in Masontown, Preston County.

This year's festival was held July 14-17.

According to both plaintiffs' complaints, Nicole Miller and her friends were directed to set up their tent at the bottom of a steep, grass-covered hill at the festival.

Meanwhile, Lewin was told to park his pickup at the top of hill.

At some point, his truck slipped down the hill, hitting two other cars before crashing into Miller's tent. Miller and her two friends, Ton and Elizabeth "Rosie" Doran, were asleep at the time.

All three were trapped.

Lewin's vehicle landed on Miller's chest, making it impossible for her to breathe.

According to both complaints, although Miller was initially conscious, she "slowly and painfully asphyxiated" due to the weight and compression of the pickup.

In her complaint, Ton says she was pinned next to her friend, forced to watch her die.

She says the accident has resulted in "serious and permanent mental and psychological pain and anguish."

The plaintiffs argue that the defendants failed to provide a plan for traffic control and failed to comply with West Virginia code regulating campsite density and roadways.

They say the defendants should have been aware of "the hazards and foreseeable dangers" presented by having attendees park their vehicles in close proximity to tents on such steep, grass-covered slopes and rugged terrain.

Both Kim Miller and Ton are seeking actual and punitive damages against the defendants, jointly and severally.

They are represented by J. Michael Benninger of Morgantown law firm Benninger Law PLLC and Carl E. Pierce II, Joseph C. Wilson IV, William P. Early of Charleston, S.C., firm Pierce, Herns, Sloan & McLeod LLC.

Doran had not filed her own case against the defendants as of Tuesday afternoon.

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