Kelly Holleran Nov. 11, 2013, 8:40am

A man claims he was forced to undergo surgery after an intoxicated patron at a bar unexpectedly punched him in the face.

Michael Turnure filed a lawsuit Oct. 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Babe’s Tavern and its owner, Gary Kirkpatrick.

In his complaint, Turnure claims he was visiting Babe’s Tavern, which is located at 81 North Main Street in Lenzburg, on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, 2012, when a fight broke out at the bar between two intoxicated patrons. Suddenly, the patrons punched and kicked Turnure in the face, according to the complaint.

“Defendants were aware that said patrons were intoxicated, and that they were acting in a loud and belligerent manner; and further said persons spilled a drink, threw a glass at the bartender; defendants further knew that a dangerous situation was escalating and had reasonable time to diffuse the situation,” the suit states. “Instead of calling the police or removing them from the bar in a timely fashion, the bartender used provoking words and actions which provoked a fight.”

Turnure claims he was a bystander when he was struck in the face, causing him to suffer facial, orbital and skull fractures, which required him to undergo surgery. Because of the incident, he also incurred medical costs, lost wages, has experienced ongoing double vision, lost his normal life, experienced disability and disfigurement and has been unable to pursue his normal activities, the complaint says.

He blames the bar’s owner for causing his injuries, saying Kirkpatrick negligently failed to provide adequate security, failed to protect him from intoxicated patrons, failed to prevent the situation from escalating, failed to contact the police in a timely manner and used provoking words instead of diffusing the situation.

In his complaint, Turnure is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-547.

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