Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Former detective sues MASSV

Corey Weatherly alleges negligence in 2012 accident


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Corey Weatherly

    A former Blaine County sheriff’s detective has filed a lawsuit against the MASSV music festival, alleging that gross negligence led to an accident in 2012 that left him permanently injured and unable to perform the duties of a law enforcement officer.
    The lawsuit was filed May 15 in Blaine County 5th District Court by Corey Weatherly and his wife, Real Weatherly. The Weatherlys are seeking damages in excess of $10,000, claiming that Corey Weatherly suffered permanent disability as a result of the accident during a MASSV street party early in the morning of July 15 in downtown Ketchum.
    After extensive treatment and rehabilitation, Corey Weatherly, who suffered a broken neck when a man fell on him from the roof of a building, later returned to work but tendered his resignation in March. The Sheriff’s Office reported then that Weatherly never fully recovered from his injury.
    Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Austin Cruz, a Hailey man who was 20 when he fell on Weatherly and caused the injury, MASSV Music Festival 2012, MASSV Holdings LLC and MASSV organizer Brent Russell. Also named are the city of Ketchum, which the Weatherlys claim helped organize the event, Casino Inc., owner of the building that Cruz fell from, and Christopher Werry, a Casino employee who the Weatherlys claim was responsible for keeping people off the roof at 240 Main St.


The Sheriff’s Office reported then that Weatherly never fully recovered from his injury.



    The lawsuit was filed on the Weatherlys behalf by Boise attorney Kurt Holzer.
    The 2012 MASSV festival was held at the Simplot lot in Ketchum but was moved to Main Street between Sun Valley Road and Second Street for the street party on the evening of July 14.
    Weatherly was not on Sheriff’s Office duty that evening but was working private security for the event. Police reported that at about 1:45 a.m. on July 15, Cruz was one of several people on the roof at 240 Main St., from where he fell and landed on Weatherly.
    Weatherly was transported by emergency aircraft to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center where he underwent surgery.
    Cruz was also injured in the accident and was transported to St. Luke’s Wood River hospital suffering from bruises and broken facial bones.
    Cruz was later charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. In March 2013, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disturbing the peace. He was given a withheld judgment, placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay fines and fees totaling $183.50.
    The Weatherlys allege in their complaint that Cruz was allowed by the MASSV organizers to consume alcohol, even though he was legally under age. The Weatherlys also state that Cruz had a blood-alcohol content of .216 when he was taken to the hospital. For comparison, the blood-alcohol content for legal driving in Idaho is .08.
    The Weatherlys further allege that MASSV organizers, the city of Ketchum and Casino Inc. were aware that people had climbed onto the roof, unprotected by any railing, of 240 Main St. during the street party and were negligent for taking no action to prevent a dangerous situation, for people both on the roof and below.
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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