West Virginia Federal Jury Awards $ 3 Million To Parents Of College Student Who Died After Fight, Including $ 1.25 Million Punitive Damages Against Friend That Failed To Call 911
On Aug. 31, 2013, 21-year-old Kevin Figaniak was walking back to Wheeling Jesuit University with his friend Tyler Johnson around the area of the Owl's Nest and Ye Old Alpha bars when the two became involved in an altercation with Craig Peacock and Jarrett Chandler. Figaniak was knocked to the ground, and Peacock allegedly kicked him in the head. Johnson allegedly attempted to take him back to his apartment rather than seek medical attention and dropped him head first onto the cement. Figaniak died of blunt force trauma to the head the following day. All of the participants had allegedly been drinking excessively at the bars prior to the altercation.
Plaintiffs Thomas and Valerie Figaniak, administrators of their son's estate, filed a wrongful death action against Fraternal Order of Owl's Home Nest, Loyal Order of Owls Nest Lodge 2558 d/b/a The Owls Nest, Ye Olde Alpha, Inc., Craig Tyler Peacock, Jarrett Chandler, and Tyler Johnson. The claims against the individual defendants proceeded to a jury trial. The jury awarded damages of $ 2,939,784 for Plaintiffs on July 31, 2017, including $ 35,451 in medical expenses; $ 4,333 in funeral expenses; $ 140,000 in sorrow and mental anguish of both parents; $ 10,000 for decedent's conscious pain and suffering; $ 1,500,000 for decedent's lost future earnings; and $ 1,250,000 in punitive damages (against Johnson). The jury apportioned liability as follows: Craig Peacock - 13%, Jarrett Chandler - 6%, Tyler Johnson - 75%, Kevin Figaniak - 6%.
Plaintiffs were represented by Guy R. Bucci and Ashley Lynch of Hendrickson & Long, PLLC, and Jeffrey P. Goodman, Michael A. Budner, and Robert Mongeluzzi of Saltz, Mongeluzzzi, Barrett and Bendesky, P.C. Defendants were represented by Michelle Lee Dougherty of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC; Anthony C. Sunseri and Matthew Chapman of Burns White – Wheeling; David K. Coleman of Casey & Chapman, PLLC; J. Victor Flanagan of Pullin Fowler Flanagan Brown & Poe PLLC – Charleston; G. Thomas Smith of Smith McMunn & Glover PLLC; and Trevor K. Taylor of Taylor Law Office.
Lexis Advance Subscribers may view the complete summary, including expert information, here: Thomas G. Figaniak and Valerie A. Figaniak, as Administrators of the Estate of Kevin Figaniak, v. Fraternal Order of Owl's Home Nest, Loyal Order of Owls Nest Lodge 2558 d/b/a The Owls Nest, Ye Olde Alpha, Inc., Craig Tyler Peacock, Jarrett Chandler, and Tyler Johnson; 2017 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 2274.
For all your jury verdict and settlement needs, please visit the LexisNexis Jury Verdicts and Settlements on Lexis Advance® and LexisNexis® Verdict & Settlement Analyzer.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.