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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rent A Mob


By Donna Goodison

A Patriots [team stats] fan viciously beaten in front of his pregnant wife by drunken Buffalo Bills supporters at a 2006 game in New York is suing the NFL team and two stadium security and crowd-control firms.

The personal injury lawsuit filed yesterday by Barry and Diane Donaghey of Woburn accuses the Buffalo Bills, Apex Group and Contemporary Services of negligence because security did not come to their assistance.

“My clients were horrified by the events that transpired, and I think a jury would be horrified as well,” said Daniel J. Monahan Jr., the Donagheys’ attorney

Following the Patriots’ 28-6 drubbing of the Bills, the Donagheys were waiting in the stadium parking lot for traffic to subside. Wearing a Patriots jacket and Red Sox [team stats] cap, Barry Donaghey walked to use a nearby port-a-potty, and Bills fans began yelling anti-Patriots slurs and throwing rocks at it while he was inside.

When he emerged, several males attacked Donaghey, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston. He was punched, kicked and struck by a chair in a 15- to 20-minute beating, while the “mob” grew to as many as 20. One assailant restrained Diane Donaghey, then four months pregnant with her first child, when she tried to help her husband.

Good Samaritans eventually pulled Barry Donaghey from his attackers, who continued to pummel the couple’s car as they left the lot. The Donagheys were unable to find police or security until they reached its main exit. No arrests were ever made.

Barry Donaghey suffered a head injury, bruising, a broken hand and shattered finger and required surgery on both hands. His wife had a bruised wrist. The incident caused them both emotional distress, the lawsuit alleges. “The baby (girl) is healthy and happy, but the wife was emotionally traumatized by witnessing this,” Monahan said.

Mike Schiavone, an attorney for the Bills, said the team had not yet viewed the complaint. “But I can assure you the matter has been under investigation and will be defended by the Bills,” he said.


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