DMB Sued for Dumping

Band in trouble for allegedly dropping waste into Chicago River

August 25, 2004 12:00 AM ET
The state of Illinois sued the Dave Matthews Band on Tuesday for allegedly dumping up to 800 pounds of human waste from its tour bus into the Chicago River and hitting a passing boat filled with tourists. The suit cites the band and its driver for violating water pollution and public nuisance laws, and seeks $70,000 in damages.

The state alleges that on August 8th en route to the band's downtown hotel, the driver emptied the bus' septic tank while crossing the Kinzie Street Bridge. More than 100 passengers on an architecture tour boat were doused with human waste, though the attorney general's office said no one was seriously injured.

"This incident may be unique," said Attorney General Lisa Madigan, "but that does not lessen the environmental or public health risks posed by the release of at least 800 pounds of liquid human waste into a busy waterway and onto a crowded tour boat."

A statement from the band rebuffs the suit's accusations. "Our driver has stated that he was not involved in this incident," it reads. However, DMB go on to pledge to "continue to be cooperative in this investigation."

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