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Woman Hit By T-Shirt Cannon At Joliet Event Suing

JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) -- A woman is suing the Joliet Park District and others, saying she was hit in the face and badly injured by a canister fired from an air cannon during a T-shirt promotion at last year's Taste of Joliet.

The park district, city of Joliet and a police officer, who is accused of firing the air cannon negligently, were added to the lawsuit Tuesday, three days before the start of this year's Taste.

Debra Simmons filed the lawsuit in February in Will County Circuit Court, naming D'Arcy Motors as the lone defendant as the company behind the promotional event. Simmons contends that she suffered injuries to her head, face, teeth and cervical spine.

The lawsuit does not list Simmons' age or address, and her attorney could not be reached this past week.

Joliet Officer Kevin O'Boyle fired the air cannon during a promotion that propelled free T-shirts into the crowd at the 2012 Taste of Joliet, according to the lawsuit, which seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

It alleges that the crowd was not properly warned before the air cannon was fired, that O'Boyle shot the canister "directly at the plaintiff's head," that the city was responsible for making O'Boyle available to the event for security and that the park district failed to provide proper supervision during the promotion.

Park district executive director Dominic Egizio said he could not comment on the lawsuit.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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