WVU student sues over beating

By Justin Anderson | Mar 27, 2009

MORGANTOWN –- A West Virginia University student is suing the school and his two assailants over a beating he took near the Mountainlair.

Matthew C. LaFlair filed a lawsuit March 10 in Monongalia Circuit Court against the WVU Board of Governors and William C. Prunesti and Brandon Fleenor, both of whom were convicted in the March 11, 2007 attack.

LaFlair says he was standing on a sidewalk near the Mountainlair along University Avenue in Morgantown at around 3 a.m.

LaFlair says he was amid a group of intoxicated students who were waiting for the so-called "drunk bus," which transports students from the downtown campus to their living quarters.

The place where LaFlair stood was not adequately lit nor were there any security personnel around, his complaint says. He said Prunesti and Fleenor attacked him without provocation.

The attack left LaFlair permanently scarred and disfigured and with medical conditions that will require future attention, the complaint says. LaFlair claims he's already racked up medical expenses. His lawsuit also claims past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of his life.

The university is blamed for the conditions in which LaFlair was attacked. LaFlair alleges the university breached its duty to protect him.

"In fact, in the vicinity where the plaintiff was attacked there was little or no lighting and no security personnel whatsoever, which emboldened and enabled (Prunesti and Fleenor) to attack the plaintiff viciously and without fear of detection," the complaint says.

"The attack was also prolonged by such conditions."

David M. Grunau is representing LaFlair, who is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 09-C-164

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