Cottage Hills VFW sued by man claiming he was assaulted on premises

By Andrea Dearden | Nov 7, 2012


A man who says he was assaulted at the Cottage Hills VFW is asking to be paid more than $350,000.

James Lavite filed a lawsuit against Cottage Hills Memorial Post 7678, Veterans of Foreign Wars of US and Rodney Gibbons, doing buiness as Cottage Hills Memorial Post 7678 on Oct. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court. Veterans of Foreign Wars of US, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Michael D. Reed are also named as defendants.

The alleged assault happened Oct. 29, 2011 at the VFW in Cottage Hills, according to the 12-page complaint. Lavite says he was at the establishment along with defendant Reed. He claims the other defendants gave or sold alcholic drinks to Reed causing him to become intoxicated. As a direct and approximate result of the alleged intoxication, Lavite was "assaulted and battered" by Reed, the lawsuit says. Reed was allegedly charged with a crime after the incident.

Lavite says the alleged assault caused injuries to his back and hand and resulted in ongoing pain and suffering. He says is now disabled and "unable to pursue his normal activities of life." Lavite contends the defendants had a responsiblity to provide proper security and protect him from danger while at the VFW. He accuses them of negligence and of violating the Dramshop Act. He also accuses Reed of assault and battery.

 Lavite is asking to be awarded more than $350,000 in damages. He is represented by attorney Michael P. Glisson of Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-1653

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