Reggae singer ‘Toots’ Hibbert files $21 million suit against Henrico teen

Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-14 19:30:39-04

(WTVR) -- Reggae star Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has filed a lawsuit against a Henrico County man who stands accused of throwing a vodka bottle at the singer during the May 18 concert performance at Dominion Riverrock.

The suit against William Lewis seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $20 million in punitive damages, according to court documents.

Court papers indicate that Hibbert, age 67,  was injured when the Grey Goose bottle struck him upside the head, near the end of the show as the group performed the hit “Country Roads.”  [VIDEO: Teen arrested, ‘Toots’ recovering after bottle throwing incident]

 William C. Lewis (Henrico police)

William C. Lewis (Henrico police)

The documents also addresses the question of whether Lewis, 19, was in possession of the vodka bottle, or if he acquired it at the festival.  Concert promoters previously said that a bottle of vodka was missing after inventory was counted.

Lawyers claim in the suit that Lewis was seen consuming alcohol “near the stage where Hibbert was performing.”

The teen, according to the complaint, lobbed the vodka bottle so hard and with such force, that the blow suffered by Hibbert caused a “serious and significant tear to his forehead and face,” and has caused permanent scarring to his face.

Toots Hibbert

Toots Hibbert after he received stitches

Hibbert, who was rushed to the hospital as the concert abruptly ended, required multiple stitches on his forehead.

The complaint charges that the Richmond performance was part of a nationwide tour and the cancellation of other shows, due to the incident, have cost Hibbert significant income.

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

Lewis was released from jail on a $3,500 bond with the stipulation that he enroll in a drug and alcohol treatment program.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Lewis was enrolled at Radford University but that the school has asked him not to return.

Police are still investigating the incident.

If you have information that could help investigators, call Detective Christopher Foultz at 804-646-6996. Anyone with information can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 804-780-1000.

***bottle is thrown around 4:25 mark***