Jason Goines filed a lawsuit against the Kingwood, W.Va., club and Arthur George, a Board member, following an incident at a golf tournament where Goines claims he was a victim of racial harassment and discrimination. The club has filed a motion to dismiss the suit, denying any wrongdoing.
Preston Country Club (PCC) filed a motion last week to have a civil lawsuit filed against it by Jason Goines removed to federal court. The Kingwood, W.Va., club also filed a motion to have the case dismissed on the grounds it denies any wrongdoing, and that Goines fails to state a cause of action, the Hurricane, W.Va.-based West Virginia Record reported.
Goines filed his lawsuit last month in Preston Circuit Court against Preston Country Club Inc. and Arthur George, who is a board member of the club, the Record reported.
In his complaint, Goines said he was taking part in the Tri-State Golf Tournament on July 2 at PCC when “defendant and racist Art George, who was acting as a ranger and patrolling the golf course, began to harass and antagonize the plaintiff, warning him unnecessarily about slow play.” Goines, who is black, says he was playing no slower than other participants, noting the players (an all-white group) behind him were playing far slower and never were harassed, the Record reported.
“Nevertheless, George relentlessly ridiculed and harassed the plaintiff using racial epithets and other derogatory language,” the complaint states. “George singled the plaintiff out for this harassment and intimidation based upon his race.”
Goines said he told George he was playing as fast as he could and that he had paid his entry money and “planned to get his money’s worth.”
“George then told the plaintiff that, ‘I’ve put more money in this place than your black ass,’” the complaint states. “George further bullied the plaintiff by hitting the plaintiff’s golf cart with his own golf cart.”
When Goines complained about the racial slurs being used, he said George responded by saying, “Well, it looks like I’ve been black balled in the black community,” saying the word black with heavy sarcasm. Goines said the abuse became so intolerable that he had to leave the course, fearing for his life and safety, the Record reported.
“He believed that taking the moral high ground and walking away was the right thing to do,” the complaint states. “However, George would not let it go, instead following the plaintiff to badger, bully and abuse him.”
Goines said he and some of his fellow players, who are white, complained to club officials about George’s actions, but no measures were taken, the Record reported.
Goines claims he was a victim of racial harassment and discrimination, which violates the West Virginia Human Rights Act and federal law. He also says he was a victim of assault and intentional and/or reckless infliction of emotional distress. He also says PCC is guilty of negligent supervision of George, who used insulting words against him, another violation of state code, the Record reported.
He seeks compensatory damages jointly and severally against the defendants for damage to his mental and emotional health and well-being as well as for terror, mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, adverse mental and emotional effects, loss of standing and reputation in the community and other damages. He also seeks punitive damages, attorney fees and other relief, the Record reported.
In its federal court answer, the club asks that the complaint be dismissed with prejudice. It seeks court costs and attorney fees, the Record reported.
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