The mother of a 21-year-old man who died from injuries suffered while being ejected from the Towne Tavern last July is seeking more than $50,000 in damages in a lawsuit alleging assault, excessive force, wrongful death and negligence against two Lewisburg taverns and four employees.
Kenneth Beaver, 21, died July 21 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville from injuries he suffered 10 days earlier after falling and striking his head outside the Towne Tavern in Lewisburg.
A 27-page suit outlining the claims against Towne Tavern and one of its bouncers and Bull Run Tap House and three of its employee was filed Monday in Union County Court by Lorri Beaver, of Redding, Ca., administrator of her son’s estate and on behalf of herself, her son’s father, Kenneth Beaver, of Milton, and sister, Michelle Beaver, of Redding, Ca.
A woman who identified herself as a Towne Tavern co-owner when reached by phone Tuesday said she was not aware of the lawsuit.
“We’re not going to discuss It until we figure out what’s going on,” she said, declining to give her name.
Bull Run owner Mike Purcell had no comment.
The following claims are in the lawsuit.
On July 11, Kenneth Beaver stopped at the Bull Run and ordered an alcoholic beverage while waiting for his take-out food order. He left the tavern with his food, but returned later in the evening at about 11:3Q p.m. with a friend, Rickie Spencer.
During the next two hours, Beaver consumed eight beers and three shots of Jameson Green Tea, also containing alcohol while sitting at the bar. All of the drinks were served by bartender Logan Powell.
Spencer described Beaver as “pretty buzzed” and not making any sense.
When he left the bar to smoke a cigarette outside, the suit said, Beaver was so highly intoxicated that Bull Run bouncers Regen Yoder and Ian Refer would not let him back inside or call Spencer, who remained inside the bar.
Video surveillance shows that after Beaver was turned away from the Bull Run, he walked across the street and went into the Townie Tavern, followed by Yoder and Refer.
Beaver' was allegedly confronted by Joseph Demetrio Moralez, a Towne Tavern bouncer, who tried to prevent him from entering the bar further. Moralez shoved the young man as Yoder grabbed him and Refer held the door open, causing Beaver to fall backwards out the doorway, striking his bead on the sidewalk and sustaining fatal head wounds.
The lawsuit alleges it should have been obvious to employees at both bars that Beaver was highly intoxicated and should have been escorted out rather than “violently, recklessly and callously shoved out the door.”
At no time did any Bull Run employee attempt to stop serving alcohol to Beaver, the suit said, even though he was visibly highly intoxicated.
According to blood tests taken three hours after the incident, Beaver’s blood alcohol content was 0.301. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.
Buffalo Valley Regional Police Chief Paul Yost said an investigation into Beaver’s death was conducted and the findings were turned over to Union County District Attorney D. Peter Johnson.
No charges will be filed in the case because there is no evidence of criminal intent or recklessness, the prosecutor said.
The investigation, which included video surveillance from the Tbwne Tavern and interviews with witnesses, showed Beaver was shoved, but without the element of intent or belief the shove would end in Beaver’s death or injury, he said, there is no criminal case. Johnson said he reviewed the video and interview evidence with Lorri Beaver and other relatives and explained his decision.
“Understandably, they were not happy about it,” he said.
Dennis Abrams, the Bala Cynwyd attorney representing the Beaver family, said they want justice.
“Everybody has a stake in this,” said Abrams, indicating the employees should have treated Beaver with more care considering his obvious impaired condition and the tavern owners should provide better staff training to handle intoxicated customers.
The suit also alleges the Bull Run intentionally, recklessly or negligently withheld or destroyed video surveil lance evidence.
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