CHARLESTON – A 70-year-old Putnam man says he was beaten by another man when he questioned a policy at a local Eagles lodge.

Charles Farmer filed a lawsuit May 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Grand Aerie Eagles, Fraternal Order of Eagles Aeries #519 and Herbert "Jabo" Barker.

Farmer says on Feb. 29, 2008, he went to the Eagles lodge in Charleston to have a "casual, relaxing evening." He arrived at 6 p.m. and was waiting for his "lady friend" Sharon Larck to arrive.

When Larck arrived at 8 p.m., she was told she would have to sign in. According to the lawsuit, Larck questioned this and was told that it was the new policy for non-members to gain entrance to the lodge.

Farmer says he then asked Barker about the policy. Barker, according to Farmer, was visibly irritated with the inquiry, retrieved a copy of the new policy, shoved the paper at Farmer and said, "Read this!"

Farmer said he read the policy but still questioned whether it said non-members had to sign in.

Barker, an Eagles trustee, told Farmer they should discuss the matter outside. Farmer said he agreed to go outside because it was hard to hear inside the lodge.

Outside, Farmer alleges that Barker told him he was "tired of his s-t" and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Barker then allegedly kicked Farmer in the chest and knee and stomped on his left hand.

The lawsuit describes Barker as a "habitual drunkard" who had been consuming alcohol on the night of the incident.

Farmer says his hand was broken and splintered and he had to wear a cast for several months that went from his knuckles to his elbow. X-rays showed substantial tearing to his knee, which required months of physical therapy.

Farmer is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Christopher T. Pritt is representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib.

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