Injured Canjo man sues bar

FONDA – A Canajoharie man who police said suffered a fractured skull and bruised brain after being struck by a bar patron is suing the business, its owners and the man who threw the punch.

Scott Y. Yager filed the lawsuit Feb. 21 in state Supreme Court in Fonda against Travis Collins, Jim’s Irish Harbor Pub on Little Mohawk Street in Canajoharie, and its owners James and Mary Blair. It doesn’t specify an amount of damages being sought by Yager.

In the suit, Yager says he was “struck, slashed and seriously injured” by Collins on the patio outside the bar around 11:10 p.m. July 20. Police said they found him bleeding from the back of his head. He was airlifted to Albany Medical Center and diagnosed with a fractured skull, bruising of the brain and an ear injury, police said.

“It was just an overly intoxicated individual with violent propensities that blatantly attacked another individual who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Yager’s attorney, Corey Ross Dalmata of the DeLorenzo Law Firm of Schenectady.

Yager has returned to work “but we do think he’s going to have permanent injury,” Dalmata said.

Collins was charged with felony assault after the altercation. The police report indicates Collins lives in Ephratah, but the lawsuit says he lives in the village of St. Johnsville. He does not have a listed telephone number and isn’t listed as a property owner in Fulton County or Montgomery County and could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit said Collins was negligent in the assault, which led to “great physical and mental pain” and “severe shock and injuries in and about and to his head, body limbs and nervous system” that will be permanent.

In the lawsuit, Yager says Collins is “a habitual drunkard” and said the Blairs and the staff should have known he was intoxicated when they served him alcohol. The lawsuit also accuses the Blairs of “running a disorderly house,” allowing “arguing, shouting, harsh words and fighting” without corrective action.

The suit claims the Blairs did not call police and bar employees “failed to provide or procure … immediate and necessary medical treatment.”

“There’s two sides to every story … and the truth will come out,” said James Blair, who said he has owned Jim’s Irish Harbor Pub since 1994. He characterized the lawsuit “as a bunch of bull,” but declined to answer specific questions about it.