Family seeks $15 million from prominent Nashville couple following son’s drowning death in Dickson County

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CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A prominent Nashville couple is being sued for wrongful death by the family of a Montgomery Bell Academy graduate who drowned at a Dickson County lake house. 

19-year-old William Caver was found in the lake behind the Timber Ridge Road property on August 2, 2019, the morning after a party involving alcohol was held.

The medical examiner determined his death was an accidental drowning. 

The teen’s father, Giles Caver, filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Circuit Court Friday against several people including Forrest and Stephanie Conner, claiming they were negligent in allowing underage drinking to take place at the party. 

The Conners were indicted by a Dickson County Grand Jury in January for charges related to providing alcohol and allowing underage drinking on the property.

The Dickson County farm where the party was held is registered to Timber Ridge, LLC. Records show the Nashville-based business is owned by Forrest Conner. 

The lawsuit, which seeks at least $15,000,000 dollars in damages also names several other defendants including William Lyell, Mary McGee Lyell, Miles Kirkland, William Cannon King, Catherine King and Timber Ridge, LLC.

According to the lawsuit, those attending the party were required to sign a liability waiver which stated in part, ‘Releasor shall waive all claims… arising out of any occurrence of all personal injury, disability, death, property damage, losses as a result of releasor’s participation in any activities or presence upon the property.’ 

The court document included the following statement, “Prior to attending the party, Defendants required Decedent to sign a document that purported to relieve them of all liability arising out of their intentional and/or illegal conduct.”

The lawsuit asks a judge to declare the waiver unenforceable under the premise that it ‘contemplates a waiver of actions that are/were illegal.’  

The suit also alleges that party attendees were given a list of house rules which prohibited party-goers from driving home until the following morning, prohibited sexual activities on the property, prohibited illegal use of drugs, but did not appear to prohibit underage consumption of alcohol. 

In a statement to News 2 in January, Stephen G. Young, the attorney for Forrest Conner, said, “In response to the statement that Mr. Conner provided alcohol that evening, an important fact is that Mr. Conner did not provide alcohol that evening to the group, nor did he provide alcohol of any type to anyone under the age of 21 who attended, outside of his immediate family.”

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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