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Man Injured By Stage Diver At Agnostic Front Show Awarded $2 Million Via Settlement


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The New York Post report that a 46-year old retired police officer by the name of Jason Kooken has been awarded a $2 million dollar settlement for injuries received from a stage diver at a hardcore show. Kooken sustained lasting injuries that included partial paralysis requiring spinal surgery after being injured by a stage diver during an April 02nd, 2017 benefit set played by Agnostic Front at Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. That particular set saw the band fronted by Supertouch‘s Mark Ryan and was a benefit show for late Vision frontman Dave Franklin.

According to the Clark Law Firm, who represented Kooken, the incident took place in the below video, with Kooken‘s attorney Mark Morris stating:

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“This individual walked right past security, climbed on the stage, pointed and then corkscrewed his body over the band’s lead singer, flipping directly onto Mr. Kooken’s head.”

According to the aforementioned law firm, the audience member that injured Kooken can be seen in the below footage, wearing a grey hoodie. The individual landed on Kooken‘s head, knocking him to the ground, where he is said to have lost feeling in his extremities.

He later received emergency spinal surgery that saw his C-4 vertebrate removed and a portion of his C-3 vertebrate removed to relieve pressure on his spinal cord. He also underwent a fusion from C3-C5 and extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy.

The individual defendants named in the suit were voluntarily dismissed from the case with the insurance company of Asbury Audio, Inc. agreeing to pay the full policy limit of a $2 million dollar settlement following mediation. Prior to the settlement, this GoFundMe was launched for Kooken, complete with a donation from Asbury Audio, Inc. owner Jason Dermer.

While Dermer and Kooken struck up a friendship after the accident, that relationship appears to have soured. He stated:

“I was at the hospital to see him the moment they allowed visitors, bringing vegan meals since the hospital couldn’t. Every member of Agnostic Front stopped in as well… We all became friends. [Kooken] has been a guest in my home. Given the opportunity to let us out on a personal level, [Kooken] declined to do so.”

“He was hurt. Permanently injured. That I understand. But to lie/allow people to lie in your name to find your way out of personal responsibility, win a settlement, and then go to/allow his attorneys to go to the press in [this] manner is unacceptable. Insurance paid…oh well. That’s what insurance is for. But what was taken and can never be replaced was the positive memories of doing the one thing that we could for Dave [Franklin]. This is not what ‘friends’, especially in our scene, do to each other.”

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