HUNTINGTON -- Bottle rockets, a man's anus and a fraternity party have resulted in a lawsuit.
A man is suing Alpha Tau Omega after he was injured at a frat party. Travis Hughes, another man at the party, was also named as a defendant in the suit.
On May 1, 2011, at about 1:30 a.m., the fraternity was having a house party both Louis Helmberg III and Hughes were attending, according to a complaint filed Jan. 23 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Helmberg, who plays for Marshall University's baseball team, claims Hughes became intoxicated and attempted to "shoot bottle rockets out of his anus on the ATO deck."
When doing so, Hughes startled Helmberg, who then jumped back and fell off of the deck of the fraternity house and was injured, according to the suit. He was lodged between the deck and an air conditioning unit.
Helmberg claims there was no railing on the deck at the time of the incident.
The lack of railing had existed for at least several months, if not years, before the incident, according to the suit.
Helmberg, a catcher for the Thundering Herd, claims the deck never had a railing when it was installed and was approximately three to four feet high.
The suit says the fraternity was negligent in failing to provide a safe deck and that Hughes was at fault for consuming alcohol "which leads to stupid and dangerous activities."
Helmberg is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He said he fall caused him pain and suffering as well as medical expenses, lost earnings capacity and lost time from the baseball team.
He is being represented by Timothy P. Rosinsky.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell.
Helmburg's case is the second involving Greek groups on Marshall's campus. Sigma Sigma Sigma recently was sued over allegations of hazing and harassment by a sorority sister.
On March 29, 2010, Sarah Frances Lyon pledged Tri-Sigma at Marshall University, according to a complaint filed Sept. 28 in Cabell Circuit Court.
Lyon claims on April 9, 2010, she met with a friend at the sorority house to go to a nail salon and when she arrived, she witnessed open beer cans, cases of unopened beer and other evidence of a party in multiple bedrooms. She claims she also witnessed multiple male Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity members sleeping in beds with the Tri-Sigma sorority girls.
Both the Alpha Tau Omega and Tri-Sigma cases are pending in Cabell Circuit Court.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 12-C-57