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Rock Concert Injury Suit Goes to Trial

May 10, 1988

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) _ Fireworks were used indoors illegally at a Motley Crue concert, according to a lawyer for a teen-ager who lost an eye while attending a performance by the heavy metal rock band.

A civil lawsuit that went to trial this week seeks $2.2 million for Robert Miller, 17, of Athens, who lost an eye, and $400,000 for David Wright, 19, of Grant, who had his lip split.

Jim Alexander, the teen-agers’ attorney, said in his opening statement Monday that flying debris hit his clients during the Sept. 25, 1985 concert in Huntsville.

But an attorney for Motley Crue Inc. told jurors there were no explosives onstage that could propel objects through the air. Stanley Rogers said the two teen-agers ″got hurt out there ... and we can’t explain it, but it did not come from special effects.″

Nikki Sixx, a member of Motley Crue, sat quietly in Limestone County Circuit Court during jury selection. Sixx is president of Motley Crue Inc.

Sitting across the room was Miller, whose injury occurred at his first concert, a birthday present from his parents just days before his 15th birthday. Miller was permanently blinded in his right eye from an object that came shooting off the stage, Alexander said.

Miller has said the material that struck him was similar to dry ice, which Alexander said was being used to create a smoke effect.

The defendants say they are not responsible for injuries suffered by Miller and Wright.

The city of Huntsville, Von Braun Civic Center and Sound 70 Productions Inc. of Nashville are also defendants.

Heavy metal rock concerts were not a familiar subject to many of the prospective jurors. About 10 said they simply do not like rock music, and two asked to be excused for religious reasons.

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