Trumansburg, N.Y. — An umbrella fell 20 feet from the bleachers at the GrassRoots fairgrounds and landed on a woman’s head.

That woman is now suing the popular Trumansburg music festival for failing to ensure her safety.

Diane M. Herbert, of Ithaca, says in her lawsuit that the golf umbrella struck her head and caused her “serious and permanent personal injuries,” including a concussion, vision problems, sleep problems, weight loss and neck pain.

The incident occurred on July 20, 2013. The lawsuit was filed last week, according to court documents.

Herbert says that she purchased a ticket for the event and was standing in an area with picnic tables beneath the grandstand when the umbrella hit her.

“The area beneath the grandstand was not fenced off,” Herbert’s lawyers write, adding “no sign was posted on the grounds of defendants’ premises indicating that the (plaintiff) was not permitted to stand and gather” there.

But the music festival’s organizers should have been aware that there was a risk to people below the bleachers, the lawsuit says.

“It was reasonably foreseeable that (Herbert) could be struck by a falling object dropped by persons occupying the grandstand above,” the lawsuit says.

Also named in the lawsuit was the Union Agriculture and Horticulture Society of Ulysses, Covert and Hector. That organization is the owner and operator of the Trumansburg Fairgrounds, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit does not set a requested dollar figure from GrassRoots, but says she should be reimbursed for “large sums of money for medical care and services endeavoring to become healed and cured of said injuries.”


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.