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posted: 10/29/2013 6:52 PM

Stabbing survivor settles suit against Naperville club

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  • A Lemont man who was stabbed at Frankies Blue Room has settled a lawsuit against the establishment at 16 W. Chicago Ave. in downtown Naperville.

       A Lemont man who was stabbed at Frankies Blue Room has settled a lawsuit against the establishment at 16 W. Chicago Ave. in downtown Naperville.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • William "Willie" Hayes

      William "Willie" Hayes

 

A Lemont man has settled a lawsuit against a downtown Naperville nightspot where he was stabbed and his friend was slain early last year.

William "Willie" Hayes had accused Frankies Blue Room of overserving murder suspect Daniel Olaska before the February 2012 stabbings that left Shaun Wild dead and Hayes and a bouncer injured.

Hayes' attorney, Craig Brown, said Tuesday the case was settled this month pursuant to the Dram Shop Act. The settlement amount is confidential, but the act, which places liability on establishments that serve patrons to the point of intoxication, caps awards at less than $65,000 in Illinois.

Frankies owner Riff Menza, who also owns Club Mamalu and Features Bar and Grill in downtown Naperville, couldn't be reached for comment. His establishment admitted no guilt in reaching the settlement.

"There was some dispute as to whether Olaska was intoxicated at the time of the stabbing, but we were confident as the case proceeded to trial we would have been able to establish his intoxication and that he became intoxicated while consuming alcohol at Frankies," Brown said.

Olaska, 29, of Naperville, is accused of stabbing Wild in the heart with a pocket knife after stabbing Hayes during a confrontation. He also is charged with knifing bouncer Rafael Castaneda, who police said tried to intervene.

Brown said Hayes, 24, was lucky to be alive. He made a full recovery and went on to become a high school teacher and athletic director.

"It's my understanding that if the stab wound would have been literally millimeters closer to his heart, he would have bled out on the floor," Brown said. "He benefited from some excellent medical care and was extremely lucky the stab wound was where it was."

Wild, 24, was a popular second-grade teacher at Naperville's Spring Brook Elementary School. He and Hayes played football together while attending North Central College, also in Naperville.

Olaska remains jailed and has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. A trial date hasn't been set.

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