Virginia Man Settling Lawsuits in West Virginia Festival Death

By VICKI SMITH | August 1, 2012

A Virginia driver who crashed into a tent filled with sleeping women at a West Virginia music festival last summer wants to settle three wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

Documents filed in U.S. District Court last week show Clay Lewin’s insurance carrier will pay the father of Nicole Miller $300,000 under the proposed settlement, which requires court approval. A hearing is set for Sept. 4.

Miller, 20, of South Carolina, died last July, while two friends were severely injured at the All Good Music Festival near Masontown. Survivors Yen Ton and Elizabeth Doran would get $100,000 apiece under the agreement. The women are from Mount Pleasant, S.C.

In May, before the start of settlement negotiations, attorneys had demanded payments ranging from $975,000 to $13.5 million. Court records indicate Lewin’s policy with the Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. limits payments to $300,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.

The agreement was reached during mediation in June. Miller’s father, Kim, would get 75 percent of the compensation for his daughter’s death, while her brother, Kristopher Miller, would get 25 percent.

Lewin acknowledged he lost control of his pickup but blames the parking and security agents who told him to park on a steep, grassy slope near tents and other vehicles.

They were there when he arrived, he says, but no one was present to guide him out when he tried to leave.

Lewin, of Cape Charles, is among about a dozen organizers, producers, promoters and corporations sued over the accident. The other cases remained on track for trials Monday.

Ton, Doran and Kim Miller are also suing: campground operator Marvin’s Mountaintop LLC; Maryland-based Walther Productions; California-based Tobin Productions; M&M Parking Inc. of Pennsylvania; and three security providers, Event Staffing Inc. of Virginia, National Event Services Inc. of New Hampshire, and Axis Security Inc. of Tennessee. Some principals of those companies are also being sued as individuals.

All have denied culpability, and most have filed counterclaims against each other.

The All Good festival drew some 30,000 people in its final year in West Virginia. This year, it moved to Ohio.

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