HOWELL NJ Jan 12 2018 - The family of a Belmar man who died in 2015 at a weekend music festival in Howell after being restrained by festival staff and police has settled its wrongful death lawsuit with the township.
The sisters of Timothy J. Harden, 38, who died on Sept. 5, 2015, after the incident at the Souper Groove festival, entered into a $350,000 agreement with Howell in November, according to a settlement document posted by njcivilsettlements.org.
The lawsuit brought by the family contended that security officers and staff at the weekend-long Souper Groove music festival used "excessive and unreasonable physical force" when they restrained Harden, who experienced a "medical episode" after consuming alcohol and cocaine.
Responding Howell police officers then used deadly force, choking Harden, according to the family's claim. None of the claims has been proven in a court of law.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office investigated and found that the officers acted lawfully in subduing Harden.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said Harden was under the influence of illegal substances when he punched a security guard in the face in an unprovoked attack. The cause of death was excited delirium, and the medical examiner ruled it accidental, Gramiccioni said.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Trenton, named the employees of the Howell Police Department, the Priedaine New Jersey Latvian Society, Griffins Security LLC and Souper Groove LLP, including organizers Jeffrey Mahajan, Andrew R. Meyer and Christy Meyer.
The other parties in the suit also have settled with the family and have been dismissed from the case, according to federal court records. The settlement agreements that list the amounts are not publicly availableapp.com