Claiming they were struck in the head with a drone at a wedding this year, two women filed a suit against the groom for flying the drone and the event company for not stopping him.

Kneena Ellis of Seabrook and Kelly Eaton of Peabody, Massachusetts, are claiming they were both struck in the head by a drone flown by Barry Billcliff of Sandown during his wedding reception at Searles Castle, a century-old castle in Windham now rented for events. Their suit charges Billcliff and Searles Castle Event Management Inc., which organized and ran the reception, each with two counts of negligence.

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Ellis and Eaton claimed in their suit filed Dec. 1 that they suffered permanent physical and emotional injury as a result of the incident on Aug. 8. The suit, filed by the women's attorney Kevin McCullough, states the drone was allegedly being flown by Billcliff under a tent where the reception was taking place when it collided with both Ellis and Eaton, who were dancing on the dance floor. It states Billcliff was using the drone to take pictures.

The drone's propeller allegedly cut Ellis' forehead open, causing a large laceration that required at least 20 stitches to close, according to McCullough. She also suffered a concussion as result, he wrote.

Eaton was allegedly struck in the head with the drone, which the suit states fractured Eaton's orbital bones and nose, as well as caused a concussion and head injury.

The suit alleges that a drone "should not be operated inside of and/or under a tent or tent enclosure." It states Billcliff had a responsibility to keep his guests safe as did Searles Castle staff. McCullough wrote that the company had been made aware by Billcliff that he would be flying the drone and that it should have prevented him from doing so.

The women are seeking a jury trial and judgement against Billcliff and Searles Castle in the amounts of their damages, including interest, costs and attorney fees.

Billcliff was contacted for this story but declined to comment. An attempt to reach Searles Castle management was unsuccessful.

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