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» GUEST RUNDOWNS » TOOTS FILES $21 MILLION SUIT IN BOTTLE-THROWING INCIDENT!

TOOTS FILES $21 MILLION SUIT IN BOTTLE-THROWING INCIDENT!

Toots HibbertFrederick “Toots” Hibbert, leader of the reggae band Toots and the Maytals, was hit in the head with a bottle May 18 during a concert at the Dominion Riverrock festival in Richmond.

 BY REED WILLIAMS—-

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has filed a lawsuit seeking $21 million against a young Henrico County man accused of throwing a vodka bottle at the reggae singer during a recent concert in Richmond.

The lawsuit, filed June 4 in Richmond Circuit Court against William Connor Lewis, seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages.

Lewis, 19, faces a felony criminal charge of malicious wounding in connection with the incident, which occurred May 18 at the Dominion Riverrock festival on Brown’s Island.

Hibbert was injured when the bottle struck him in the head as he was performing.

Hibbert, lead singer of Toots and the Maytals, was performing the song “Country Roads” at about 10:15 p.m. when Lewis threw a bottle of Grey Goose vodka “with great force and violence,” according to the complaint.

The bottle struck Hibbert in the upper left side of his face and caused a serious tear to his forehead and face, causing permanent scarring on his face, according to the complaint.

The blow left the singer “disoriented and grievously injured in body and mind,” the complaint says.

Hibbert dropped the microphone and left the stage as the show came to a sudden end.

Lewis had been drinking from the vodka bottle and, before he threw it, was seen near the stage on which Hibbert was performing, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit adds that the Riverrock concert was part of a nationwide tour and that the band had to cancel the balance of the tour because of the incident, costing Hibbert significant income.

Toots Hibbert

Toots Hibbert

Hibbert’s injuries left him unable to record songs, compose compositions or make public appearances, the lawsuit says.

Christopher Collins, an attorney representing Lewis, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Last week, Collins said his client was “very remorseful” and devastated about what happened to Hibbert.

Collins made the comments on Friday after Lewis appeared in Richmond General District Court for a hearing in the criminal case.

Collins also said that Lewis had been enrolled at Radford University but that the school has asked him not to return.

Hibbert traveled from Jamaica to Richmond to attend Friday’s hearing, where he was joined by Michael R. Shapiro, a Los Angeles-based attorney.

After the hearing, Shapiro said that the 70-year-old singer is doing “as well as can be expected.”

“He’s still under treatment and observation,” Shapiro added. “There’s no clear resolution to his health at this time.”

The malicious wounding charge is expected to go before a grand jury on July 1.

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