'Fox & Friends' co-host faces lawsuit from man he hit with ax

The plaintiff claims that he has suffered "severe and serious personal injuries to his mind and body."

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By Daniel Arkin

A man hit by an ax thrown by a Fox News TV personality has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence and injuries that have left physical and emotional scars.

Pete Hegseth, a co-host of the weekend edition of "Fox & Friends," was participating in a live segment in June 14, 2015, when he tossed an ax at a target but missed, striking a member of the West Point Band, who were there to mark Flag Day and the 240th birthday of the U.S. Army. The band is the official band-in-residence of the U.S. Military Academy.

The band member, drummer Jeff Prosperie, is now bringing a lawsuit against Hegseth, alleging that the host threw an ax at a target who was "negligently placed" in an area where people were standing. Prosperie was behind the target.

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The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, alleges that the defendants — Hegseth, Fox News and "Fox & Friends" — were "negligent, wanton, reckless and careless" in staging the ax-throwing event, part of an upcoming segment on lumberjack contests.

Pete HegsethAlbin Lohr-Jones / Pool via Bloomberg — Getty Images

The incident aired on live television, and the footage later circulated widely online.

Prosperie claims in the lawsuit that he has suffered "severe and serious personal injuries to his mind and body," as well as "permanent effects of pain, disability, disfigurement and loss of body function."

In a statement, Fox News said the incident was "unfortunate and completely unintentional."

"Fox News immediately apologized to Prosperie and offered medical assistance, which he declined, saying he was 'OK.' The network also offered compensation, which he declined as well. We have not heard from Prosperie since 2015, so the lawsuit is surprising and we are reviewing it."

Prosperie's lawyer, Brandon Cotter, said his client would not comment on the suit. But speaking on Prosperie's behalf, Cotter said his client "wants to get on with his life, and he tried to do so."

"But when it became apparent there were lasting issues," Prosperie knew he had to file a suit, Cotter said. Prosperie is seeking judgment against the defendants and an unspecific amount in damagest.

Shortly after the ax incident, Prosperie posted on Facebook that he suffered some cuts and a "significant impact" from the ax.