WHEELING – The parents of a former Wheeling Jesuit University student have filed a federal lawsuit against the two men who allegedly “viciously attacked” their son, resulting in his death, and the two Wheeling bars that allegedly served the men.
Thomas and Valerie Figaniak filed the lawsuit on behalf of their son, Kevin Figaniak, who was a 21-year-old student at Wheeling Jesuit in 2013.
The Figaniaks filed their lawsuit Aug. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
The named defendants include: the Fraternal Order of Owl’s Home Nest, based in Parkersburg; the Loyal Order of Owls Nest Lodge 2558 doing business as The Owls Nest, in Wheeling; Ye Olde Alpha Inc., also in Wheeling; Florida resident Craig Tyler Peacock; Louisiana resident Jarrett Chandler; and Ohio resident Tyler Johnson.
According to the Figaniaks’ complaint, Kevin was walking with Johnson in the area of The Owls Nest and Alpha on Aug. 31, 2013, when Peacock and Chandler allegedly attacked both Kevin and Johnson.
Johnson, who also was intoxicated at the time, allegedly “negligently taunted” the two assailants.
As a result of the attack, Kevin was left unconscious on the ground until Peacock allegedly kicked him in the head, resulting in Kevin’s death.
The Figaniaks contend Peacock and Chandler’s actions were “fueled” by the “excessive” amounts of alcohol they were negligently sold by the defendant bars.
According to their lawsuit, both men had a “minimum” of 10-11 drinks over the course of the evening.
Johnson was similarly intoxicated, having been served so much alcohol at Alpha that he “could barely stand,” the lawsuit alleges.
The Figaniaks contend the negligent sale of alcoholic beverages was a “direct and proximate” cause of their son’s injuries and death.
They are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on any award.
Charleston attorney Guy R. Bucci is representing the Figaniaks in the lawsuit. Judge Frederick P. Stamp has been assigned the case
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia; case number 5:15-cv-111