Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Lawsuit Over Exploded Butt Rocket Fizzles

(CN) - A West Virginia student has settled his claims over a bottle rocket that allegedly exploded in the rectum of a reveler trying to shoot it out of his anus at a frat party.

Louis Helmburg III claimed that the explosion occurred at about 1:30 a.m. on May 1, 2011, at a Marshall University house party hosted by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

Travis Hughes was under 21 and "highly intoxicated" when he "decided in his drunken stupor that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his anus on the ATO deck, located on the back of the ATO house," according to the complaint.

After Hughes placed a bottle rocket in his anus and ignited the fuse, however, "the bottle rocket blew up in the defendant's rectum" instead of launching, the complaint stated.

Helmburg said the explosion startled him, causing him to jump back and fall about 3 feet from the ATO deck, which lacked a railing.

Though the five-page complaint made no mention of whether Hughes was injured from the bottle rocket that exploded in his rectum, it said Helmburg lost playing time on the Marshall University baseball team, in addition to suffering pain and medical expenses.

The West Virginia Record reported that the Cabell County Court dismissed the case on Nov. 4 pursuant to a settlement between Helmburg and Richmond Property Group.

Aside from a mention of the March dismissal of claims against the Marshall University Board of Governors, the article gives no indication as to the fate of Helmburg's claims against Hughes and the school's intrafraternal council.

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.