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Dave Matthews's "Gross Negligence"
Highest Court N.D. Illinois
Year Ended 2005
Plaintiffs Chartered Boat(s)
Defendants Bus Driver(s)
Matthews, Dave (Band)
Other No Other parties on file
Short Description (Note: read this entry to the end or you'll miss the whole point.) While driving over the river running through downtown Chicago, Dave Matthews' tour bus dumped gallons of human waste, knowing it would fall through the grates in the bridge underneath, which it did. Of course, underneath the bus was a cruise ship, and the waste landed on passengers enjoying their sunny summer afternoon on the water. According to the court "a foul-smelling, brownish-yellow liquid [] drenched the vessel and dozens of its passengers, getting into passengers' eyes, mouths, and hair and soaking their clothing and personal belongings." Unsurprisingly, the chartered boat company sued, alleging trespass, nusiance, intereference with business, negligence, and, of course, "gross negligence." Defendants moved to dismiss, saying Plaintiffs had not stated and could not state lost profits, as required by the "economic loss rule." The court disagreed, since the facts fit an exception for "sudden, dangerous or calamitous events," and refused Defendant's motion to dismiss trespass, nuisance, and negligence actions, all of which were sufficiently stated, but dismissed Plaintiffs action for "intentional interference with business realtions" for lack of intentionality. Regarding Plaintiff's action for "gross negligence," the court found no such tort existed in Illinois; dumping shit and piss on crusing yuppies might be negligence, but it's NOT "gross." Given the facts of the case, that seems comedically improper. Thus, not only is this a great case discussing the parameters of tort law, it's an interesting exercise into the difference between "coincidence" and "irony." Which is it? You decide.- LSW

Legal Issues
Torts Economic Torts Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
  Negligence Gross Negligence
    Property/Monetary Injury
  Nuisance Public Nuisance
  Property Torts Trespass

Opinions Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters v. Dave Matthews Band, Inc.
2005 WL 3159680
N.D. Illinois , November 22, 2005 ( No. 05 C 1698 )

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Related Searches Parties
Bus Driver(s) ( Defendant )
Chartered Boat(s) ( Plaintiff )
Matthews, Dave (Band) ( Defendant )

Legal Issues
Torts / Economic Torts / Interference with Contract, Business, Interests & Expectancy
Torts / Negligence / Gross Negligence
Torts / Negligence / Property/Monetary Injury
Torts / Nuisance / Public Nuisance
Torts / Property Torts / Trespass

N.D. Illinois (highest court)

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