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Elks lodge accused of negligence in civil trial

April 09, 2002|By DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A civil trial stemming from a fatal shooting

outside a local Elks Lodge began Monday in Jefferson County Circuit

Court.

The trial stems from a suit in which the plaintiff alleges that the

national chapter of the Elks organization was "negligent and reckless,"

resulting in a 1999 shooting outside a local Elks lodge along old U.S.

340 south of Charles Town.

The National Association of the International Benevolent Protective

Order of the Elks is the sole remaining defendant in the civil suit.

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The national Elks organization is being sued in connection with the

death of Kim Flynn, who was shot in the right shoulder and chest while

he and some friends were driving out of the parking lot of the John

Brown Elks Lodge No. 841 at about 2 a.m. Nov. 14, 1999, according to the

suit.

Warren A. Taylor Jr., who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the

shooting of Flynn and who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence, was

served alcohol by the Elks and other defendants in the suit when he was

intoxicated, the suit alleges.

The suit, filed by Flynn's father, John G. Flynn, alleges the Elks, a

bar employee, trustees of the local lodge and the bar did not have a

license to sell alcoholic beverages or a license to sell beer.

The suit contends the Elks and other defendants in the suit owed a duty

to Flynn to keep the lodge in a safe condition, to protect him from

injury inflicted by other people and to prevent any disturbance at the

bar.

Three defendants in the suit have settled the case for $300,000, which

was paid to Flynn's father, said attorney Kenneth J. Barton Jr., who is

representing the national chapter of the Elks.

Those defendants were John Brown Lodge No. 841, trustees of the lodge

and Alonzo Lee Puller, who operated a nightclub at the bar, Barton said.

Charles Town attorney Sam Byrer is representing John G. Flynn.

Taylor was a defendant in the suit but was dismissed from the action,

Barton said.

In his opening statements Monday, Barton said the Elks was not operating

a bar at the John Brown Lodge. Officials with the lodge had no idea

there would be a shooting at the premises, Barton said.

The rest of the week has been cleared in Circuit Court to allow for the

civil trial, said attorneys in the case.

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