West Virginia Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Referee sues W.Va. Wesleyan, former coach for attack after game

By Chris Dickerson | Jan 26, 2006

Wesley Chapel on West Virginia Wesleyan's campus in Buckhannon.

CHARLESTON – A basketball referee has filed a lawsuit against West Virginia Wesleyan College and one of its former assistant coaches after he was attacked following a game last season.

George W. Pack and his wife Mary Beth Pack filed the lawsuit Jan. 5 in Kanawha Circuit Court. They name the Buckhannon school and Christopher Chavers as defendants.

In the suit, filed by Charleston attorney Troy Giatras, Pack says Chavers "negligently, intentionally, carelessly, recklessly, willfully, wantonly and with utter disregard for the safety of the plaintiff" struck him with his body causing injury after a basketball game Jan. 8, 2005, at the school.

The suit says Chavers, who since has taken another job at the college, committed a battery upon the plaintiff.

Newspaper accounts of the incident say Chavers, 36, verbally abused and punched Pack, 59, after the Bobcats' 92-90 overtime loss to Salem University in a West Virginia Conference game.

Pack filed a complaint with the Buckhannon Police Department, and fellow referee Andre Langlois filed another against Chavers because he took "a stray punch" from Chavers when he tried to stop the attack. Pack said it took seven people to pull Chavers off of him.

After the incident, Wesleyan suspended Chavers for the rest of the 2004-05 season.

The suit goes on to say Wesleyan breached its duty to properly supervise Chavers while he was performing his employment duties; negligently hired, trained and supervised Chavers; and failed to provide adequate security and/or a safe work place for the plaintiff.

Pratt, who lives in Pratt, claims he suffered injuries to his knee, contusions to his body, a head injury as well as other physical and psychological damages which are permanent in nature and which require past, present and future medical treatment and past, present and future medical bills. In addition, he says he has suffered past, present and future pain and suffering and mental anguish.

As a result of the attack, Pratt says he has suffered a decrease in his value of life, his enjoyment of life, diminished earning capacity, loss of earnings, pain, suffering and mental anguish. He says all of those will continue in future.

His wife sues for loss of consortium.

The couple seeks compensatory damages from the defendants jointly and severally, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, attorney fees and court costs.

They demand a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 06-C-14

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