Skip to comments.Dave Matthews Band Settles Dumping Dispute
Posted on 05/02/2005 5:18:12 PM PDT by truthandlife
The big stink over Dave Matthews Band's big stink is over.
The jam rockers have agreed to pony up $200,000 to an environmental fund to settle a lawsuit brought by the Illinois attorney general in connection with a band bus driver dumping 800 pounds of liquid human waste from a DMB tour bus into the Chicago River.
On Friday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced the state was dropping its civil suit, which alleged the usually eco-friendly rockers violated environmental regulations and public nuisance laws.
"This settlement is reasonable and appropriate given the public and environmental health threats caused by this foul incident," Madigan told the Associated Press.
The "foul incident" occurred on Aug. 8. The band was in town for a gig, and bus driver Stefan A. Wohl pulled up alongside a metal grating on the Kedzie Bridge and emptied the vehicle's septic tank. The refuse rained down on passing tour boat, showering as many as 100 passengers with feces.
The "Crash Into Me" band was not on the bus when the incident took place, but immediately took responsibility after an investigation revealed that Wohl was the culprit.
The $200,000 donation will go towards state programs focusing on environmental protection and education, according to a spokesman for the attorney general's office. The band also agreed to maintain a record of each time one of its buses empties its septic tank over the next five years.
Melisssa Merz, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, told reporters outside the courtroom that the hefty settlement will serve "as a deterrent to other bands that might think it's okay todump 800 pounds of human waste on Illinois citizens and tourists."
DMB attorney John Burke noted that even though none of the band members were involved, they are "doing all the right things to ensure this is never repeated."
The $200,000 is in addition to the $50,000 Matthews and his mates donated in October to each of two local conservation groups, Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago Park District.
Wohl, who piloted the bus for DMB violinist Boyd Tinsley, pleaded guilty in March to charges of reckless conduct and discharging contaminants to cause water pollution. The 42-year-old driver was sentenced to 18 months' probation, 250 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine.
Burke added that the band is also trying to reach a settlement in a separate federal lawsuit, as well as three private civil suits filed by tainted tourists.
Among the litigants is Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters, owners of Chicago's Little Lady--the tour boat that took the brunt of the falling waste and required extensive disinfecting in the wake of the incident. The company is seeking between $50,000 and $5 million in damages in lost business.
Hearings on the civil suits are expected later this year.
In other DMB news, the quintet is teaming up with Ben & Jerry's--the makers of the DMB-inspired One Sweet Whirled ice cream--for a new confectionary treat, Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies. The raspberry-filled ice cream contains legal doses of brownie swirls. No word whether it'll sell in Chicago.
The band is also gearing up for another whirlwind summer tour in support of its latest album, Stand Up, that will take them back to Chi-Town on June 2. (Wonder if they'll play "Don't Drink the Water"?)
The band also plan to headline a special two-night concert festival at New York City's Randall's Island on July 30 and 31 that will feature such acts as Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Black Eyed Peas and the Barenaked Ladies.
But don't look for Wohl to be driving DMB to the gig. He's been, ahem, dumped.
...What? They doing covers of Jethro Tull now?
Can I file a lawsuit for excrement-dumping against that has-been Springsteen for opening his mouth?
Talk about your bad timing. I guess the people on the "Little Lady" were the test market group for Dave Matthews' brownies. The fact they got them for free rather than paying Ben & Jerry for them will be factored into the settlement....
"The refuse rained down on passing tour boat, showering as many as 100 passengers with feces."
This bus driver is ready to be a chimp in a cage. Or an A.N.S.W.E.R. protester. Either one. Or BOTH.
So the government gets money and the people who got sh*t on got sh*t. Is that what passes as fair in Chicago?
That was my question, I assume the people on the boat still have a cause for action against the band?
"I got sh** on by Dave Mathews and all I got was this Hepetitis C"
But...but...Mayor Daley needs that money to take all our guns away!
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