Suit filed in Morgantown beating of former WVU student

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 31, 2011

MORGANTOWN – The father and friend of a former West Virginia University student left in a coma after a 2009 beating filed a lawsuit against the six individuals allegedly involved in the attack.

The six individuals named as defendants in the suit are Austin Vantrease, Jonathan May, Colin McKeefery, Brandon Groux, Tyler Husfelt and Alexander Woods.

The suit was filed by Ken Diviney and Brian Matthew McLhinney, the father and friend of Ryan Kenneth Diviney after Ryan Kenneth Diviney was attacked on Nov. 7, 2009 in Morgantown, according to a complaint filed Aug. 23 in Monongalia Circuit Court.

On Nov. 7, 2009, near the North Willey Street Dairy Mart at approximately 3:10 a.m., Ryan Diviney and McLhinney were walking toward the Dairy Mart convenience store when they became engaged in an oral argument with the defendants regarding the World Series.

The plaintiffs claim the argument turned into a physical altercation and the defendants chased Ryan Diviney as he tried to escape and "negligently, recklessly and willfully obstructed him from escaping to safety."

Vantrease and May maliciously injured the plaintiffs while McKeefery, Groux, Husfelt and Woods were "substantially encouraging the physical altercation and preventing the plaintiffs from escaping," according to the suit.

Vantrease was later convicted of malicious assault and May of misdemeanor battery. Vantrease is currently serving time in the North Central Regional Jail.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Alex J. Shook and Andrew G. Meek.

Ken Diviney said he was forced to sue because he was out of options, as the defendants refused to pay court-ordered restitution and have not shown any remorse.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 11-C-539

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