Two men file suits after attacks in Nitro

By Cara Bailey | Apr 3, 2008

CHARLESTON - Two men each have filed a suit after they were attacked by the same men outside the Nitro Community Center, in separate incidents, after their night classes.

John Edward Jacobs, who was a student at Winfield High School, filed the suit Feb. 27 in Kanawha Circuit Court, against Jered W. Chapman and Joseph S. Lamanca.

Craig Banker filed a suit Feb. 28, against Chapman, Lamanca and Chapman Funeral Home.

According to the suit, Jacobs was taking night classes at the Nitro Community Center, when his teacher recommended that he move his car from an area business' lot, before it was towed.

Jacobs claims he was approaching his car when several people, including the defendants, attacked him.

According to the suit, Jacobs was hit on the head and body and eventually knocked to the ground, where the defendants began kicking his body and head.

Jacobs claims his injuries were so extensive he had to receive treatment at an area hospital.

In a separate incident, Banker was injured after he was exiting the community center after his class.

Banker claims he noticed several people around a vehicle owned by Chapman Funeral Home, including Chapman and Lamanca. According to the suit, Banker was then attacked by several of the individuals and suffered serious and disabling injuries.

Banker claims he suffered psychological injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, humiliation and embarrassment, annoyance, aggravation and mental anguish.

He claims Chapman Funeral Home negligently entrusted its vehicle to Chapman, which resulted in Banker's injuries.

Jacobs' suit says Nitro police investigated the scene and obtained statements from witnesses, then arrested the defendants, who were charged with battery and malicious wounding.

According to the suit, Lamanca, who was 18, plead guilty to battery. A Kanawha County jury convicted Chapman, who was 17, of battery.

Jacobs claims he suffered bodily injury so severe that is inflicted emotional distress. He claims the beating caused him to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, mental distress, lost wages, and lost money from medical expenses.

Therefore, Jacobs and Banker both seek compensatory and punitive damages from each defendant to cover his injuries.

Attorney David O. Moye is representing Jacobs, and William Tiano is representing Banker.

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