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Suit over bottle rocket lit in man's rectum dismissed

HUNTINGTON, W.Va., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Marshall University student in Huntington, W.Va., settled claims over a bottle rocket that allegedly exploded in another student's rectum, records indicated.

In his lawsuit, Louis Helmburg III claimed the blast startled him, causing him to fall about three feet off a deck at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity on May 1, 2011, Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday.

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A Cabell County judge dismissed the case Nov. 4 in accordance with a settlement reached with Helmburg and Richmond Property Group, which owns the frat house property, CNS said.

The complaint said Travis Hughes was "highly intoxicated" when he "decided in his drunken stupor that it would be a good idea to shoot bottle rockets out of his anus on the ATO deck, located on the back of the ATO house." After Hughes inserted the bottle rocket and lit it, "the bottle rocket blew up in the defendant's rectum" instead of propelling out.

Helmburg said the explosion startled him, causing him to jump and fall from the deck, which didn't have a railing.

CNS said the complaint didn't indicate whether Hughes was injured by the bottle rocket. It said Helmburg lost playing time on the university's baseball team, suffered pain and had medical expenses.

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