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

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By Daniel Arkin  with NBC News U.S. News
Image: Pete Hegseth
Pete Hegseth arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 15, 2016.   -   Copyright  Albin Lohr-Jones Pool via Bloomberg - Getty Images

A man hit by an axe 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 2015 when he tossed an axe at a target but missed, striking a drummer who was standing behind the target.

The drummer, Jeff Prosperie, is now bringing a lawsuit against Hegseth, alleging that the host "negligently attempted to throw an axe at a 'target,' [and that] the aforementioned 'target' was negligently placed in an area which put" people "in the path of peril."

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, alleges that the defendants — Hegseth, Fox News and "Fox & Friends" — were "negligent, wanton, reckless and careless" in staging the axe-throwing event.

Pete Hegseth arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 15, 2016.
Pete Hegseth arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 15, 2016.Albin Lohr-Jones

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

Prosperie, a member of the West Point Band, the official band-in-residence of the United States Military Academy, 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."

A spokeswoman for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

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 judgement against the defendants and an unspecific amount in damages, according to the lawsuit.

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