Louis Helmburg III claims that on May 1, 2011, he attended an Alpha Tau Omega house party with his girlfriend. At about 1:30 a.m., Helmburg says Alpha Tau Omega member Travis Hughes “decided that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his anus.”
The lawsuit says that, “instead of launching, the bottle rocket blew up in [Hughes'] rectum” causing Helmburg to be “startled,” “jump back,” subsequently fall off the balcony where the failed launch occurred. Helmburg then became “lodged between the deck and an air conditioner unit adjacent the deck.”
Helmburg’s lawsuit claims that “firing bottle rockets out of one’s own anus constitutes an ‘ultra-hazardous’ activity,” a claim that clearly ignoring the thousands – nay, tens of thousands – of successful anal bottle rocket launches occurring on college campuses each year worldwide.
The lawsuit names The Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity Inc., of Huntington, West Virginia, and Travis Hughes, as defendants exposed to strict liability. The lawsuit notes that the deck which is “under the exclusive custody, maintenance and control of the ATO” had no railing. Adding that, “the subject deck was approximately 3-4 feet high.”