A drone was supposed to take pictures of attendees at a fraternity party at the University of Southern California, but it ended up leaving a woman badly hurt and bleeding “vigorously” from her head on Oct. 3, 2015, court documents said.
Alina Pituch said she was at the “Glow Party” for Pi Kappa Phi's Delta Rho Chapter for no longer than 20 minutes that night when a “heavy object” fell on her head, causing her to stumble forward into a friend, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2016, City News Service reported.
The friend kept Pituch from falling, the complaint said. But the woman started bleeding from her wound, City News Service said. She says she suffered injuries to her forehead, left eye and the back of her head.
She was taken to the hospital, court documents said, the Daily Trojan reported. Pituch says the object that struck her was later identified to be a drone.
Her suit against the fraternity chapter and an event planning company, The Perfect Event, said Pituch suffers from permanent scarring on her head. The injuries have "compromised" her ability to focus on school work due to the headaches she began having after the incident, the Daily Trojan reported.
The event company had been hired to run the event and hire the operator of the drone that was taking pictures, the newspaper said.
The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits flying Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) directly over people, according to the agency’s website.
City News Service reports that the woman reached a settlement this month with the fraternity chapter and the Perfect Event. The terms weren’t disclosed.
This isn’t the first time a drone at a party led to injuries and lawsuits. Two guests at a New Hampshire wedding sued the groom in 2016, saying he brought in a drone that crashed into them. The women said they suffered permanent physical and emotional injury as a result of the crash, the Eagle-Tribune reported.
A drone injured two people, knocking one of them unconscious, at a Pride Parade in Seattle in 2015, the Seattle Times reported. The pilot was found guilty of reckless endangerment and got 30 days in jail.