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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Naked Stanford Trumpeter's Solo Leads to Lawsuit

Posted By on Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 5:12 PM

click to enlarge Is there room for a brass section?
  • Is there room for a brass section?

Here is a story involving a naked man and his trumpet -- and it didn't happen at band camp.

Two marching band members got Stanford University into a legal battle after a half-naked trumpeter got hurt when the band manager tackled him during his pantless performance.

According to a lawsuit filed in San Francisco, the Stanford University marching band has a loose tradition where members take turns playing solos, while other band members try to distract them.

In this case, trumpeter Samuel Franco had been drinking and was perhaps intoxicated when he jumped up on a picnic table and started his trumpet solo. In attempt to mess him up mid-performance, a band member pulled down his pants -- including his underwear.

But the determined musician kept blowing notes.

The band manager, Nathan Foorman, was getting worried that the band would get

into trouble for drinking during rehearsal-- it wouldn't be the first time. He

was also uncomfortable because there were some kids nearby watching the

naked trumpeter.

Foorman yelled to Franco to put down his horn and pull up his pants. Franco, possibly lost in the music, just kept playing.

"Foorman then got on to the table, wrapped his arms around Franco, and tried to physically remove him from the table, " the claim states.

The slightly buzzed Franco fell and hurt himself.

Afterward, Franco's lawyers demanded $589,952.44 from Hartford Insurance, Foorman's insurance company. But Hartford argues that Stanford University is -- at the very least -- partially at fault and should pay for some of the accident, according to the lawsuit.

The university has repeatedly refused, and so on Nov. 1, 2010, Hartford shelled out $302,000 -- it's policy limit -- to Franco.

Franco happily accepted the offer.

But Hartford has now filed a lawsuit against Stanford, saying the insurance policy explicitly excludes coverage of claims arising from an insured's business. And here is the twist: Since the University pays Foorman $4,000 annually to manage the marching band, then the accident technically took place at Foorman's "business."

The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court on March 3.

And that's how the one man-band made bank of his trumpet solo.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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