By PAUL SIMS
Mississippi State University and its president may be added to a lawsuit resulting from an alleged cowbell assault at the Egg Bowl two football seasons ago.
On Monday, an attorney representing William Matthew Brasher filed a request in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court to add MSU and Mark Keenum, the institutionâ€™s president, to the suit â€“ which did not seek specific monetary damages â€“ originally filed in November.
The plaintiff alleges Brent Vowell used a cowbell to assault him at the Nov. 28, 2009 football game between MSU and the University of Mississippi at MSUâ€™s Davis Wade Stadium. In the suit, Brasher says he suffered numerous injuries, including a 4-inch gash to his head, exposing his skull; permanent scarring; loss of consciousness; a concussion and loss of memory.
The initial lawsuit filing named the Southeastern Conference and its commissioner, Mike Slive, and reserved the right to seek the addition of MSU later.
In a Feb. 1 response, Slive and the SEC denied many points laid out in the suit. In his own answer, Vowell admits bringing a cowbell to the game but denies the alleged attack.
In the latest move, the plaintiff alleges MSU did not take adequate steps to enforce the SECâ€™s policy against bringing artificial noisemakers to football games and asserts officials knew or should have known failure to enforce the policy could result in the injuries Brasher sustained.
â€śThe university, as a practice, does not provide comment on current or potential litigation,â€ť MSU spokeswoman Maridith Geuder said.
Vowell faces the charge of aggravated assault in connection with the case. In January, his attorneys sought â€“ and were granted â€“ more time to investigate the matter. A trial on the charge was rescheduled to the next court term, which starts later this month.