Ky. woman chases Mothman event after injuries

Lawrence Smith Nov. 2, 2011, 2:28pm

A Mothman statue in Point Pleasant

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - A Kentucky woman's fall at an event celebrating the mythical Mothman of West Virginia has resulted in a lawsuit against its co-hosts.

The West Virginia State Farm Museum and the Mason County Commission are named as co-defendants in personal injury lawsuit filed by Angela Dehart.

In her complaint filed Sept. 19 in Mason Circuit Court, Dehart, 51 of Pikeville, alleges both were partially responsible for her fall into a hole on the Museum's grounds during her visit to Point Pleasant for the Mothman Festival.

According to her suit, Dehart attended the festival on Sept. 19, 2009. Known as MothFest, it is a three-day event held in mid-September highlighting the fabled Mothman, a winged, man-like creature with red glowing eyes believed spotted by several Point Pleasant residents in November 1966.

MothFest was started in 2002 as a way to capitalize on the interest in the Mothman legend following release of the movie "The Mothman Prophecies," starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Debra Messing and Will Patton, earlier that year. The movie was based on John Keel's 1975 book by the same name that theorized the appearance of the Mothman was a foretelling of disasters to come including the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant on Dec. 15, 1967, that claimed the lives of 46 people.

The event includes a hayride to where the Mothman was believed sighted, an abandoned TNT munitions dump operated by the U.S. Army during World War II in the Camp Conley area north of Point Pleasant off W. Va. 62. It was in the course of the hayride, operated by the Commission, that Dehart alleges she was injured.

According to her suit, the ride stopped at the Museum which is up the road from the TNT dump. During the stop, Dehart visited a barn that featured "live stock and other events."

After staying at the barn for an unspecified amount of time, Dehart says she returned to the wagon. Before she could reach it, Dehart alleges she fell into an unmarked hole beside the walkway, knocked unconscious and severely injured.

The extent of her injuries are not specified in her suit.

Nevertheless, as a result of them, Dehart says "her enjoyment of life has been and will continue to be greatly impaired" and "has incurred and will continue to incur mental anguish." Her husband, Bryan, 52, is a co-plaintiff in the suit, and makes a claim for loss of consortium.

The Deharts seek unspecified damages, court costs and interest. They are represented by Charleston attorney Shannon M. Bland.

The case is assigned to Judge David W. Nibert.

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