Estate blames Fraternal Order for death of club member

By Bree Gonzales | Dec 6, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE — An estate administrator is suing a private social club and guests, alleging negligence, battery and premises liability.

Clarence Joseph Atha, as administrator for the estate of Luis Antonio Jackson, filed a complaint in Fayette Circuit Court against Fraternal Order of Eagles Kanawha Aerie No. 1040 Inc, George E. Brockman II, and Cedric E. Coping, alleging they allowed and caused the eventual death of Jackson.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 28, 2016, Jackson, Brockman and Coping were intoxicated at the Eagles Club bar in Montgomery during a Halloween celebration. The suit says a verbal and physical altercation happened with Brockman and Coping being aggressive toward Jackson. 

The lawsuit states the altercation was stopped by patrons and employees of the Eagles Club but, shortly afterward, Jackson was physically assaulted by Brockman and Coping, who punched him, causing his head to head the ground. The suit says Jackson was rushed to Charleston Area Medical Center and died Nov. 1, 2016, from craniocerebral bleeding. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to provide safe premises and adequate security personnel to patrons/members, violated West Virginia Code § 60-7-12 (4) by continuing to serve Jackson, Brockman, Coping and its own security personnel when they were already intoxicated. The suit says Coping and Brockman owed a duty to Jackson not to physically harm him and that their physical contact was uninvited and constitutes battery.

Atha seeks trial by jury, compensatory, general and punitive damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, cost of suit and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Jonathan R. Mani of Mani Ellis & Layne PLLC in Charleston.

Fayette Circuit Court case number 18c179

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Fayette Circuit Court Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC

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