A man who was seriously injured last year in a brawl in a downtown Naperville bar that cost a friend his life has settled a civil lawsuit he later filed against the bar’s owner.
Lemont resident William “Willie” Hayes III in January filed suit against Riff Menza. The Naperville businessman owns and operates Club Mamalu, Features Bar & Grill and Frankies Blue Room, all at 10-16 W. Chicago Ave. in the city’s downtown.
Hayes contended employees of Frankies Blue Room on Feb. 4, 2012 over-served Naperville resident Daniel J. Olaska. He is charged in that morning’s stabbing murder of elementary schoolteacher Shaun Wild and the attempted murders of Hayes and another man.
The lawsuit, filed in DuPage County Circuity Court, sought more than $50,000 in damages. It maintained Olaska was allowed to drink to the point of intoxication, and that the ensuing melee left Hayes with “severe and permanent injuries.”
Court records indicated the suit was formally dismissed Thursday and the court file closed. Hayes’ attorney, Craig D. Brown, on Monday confirmed the litigation had been “settled out of court pursuant to the Illinois Dram Shop Act.”
Brown would not discuss details of the settlement, which was reached after he and Menza’s lawyers resolved a sticking point involving Olaska’s condition at the time of the alleged attack.
“I can tell you there was a dispute over whether (Olaska) was intoxicated at the time of the stabbing,” said Brown, of the Meyers & Flowers law firm of Chicago and St. Charles.
“We believe there was compelling evidence that (Olaska) was intoxicated at the time,” while Menza’s attorneys maintained a blood-alcohol test administered shortly after the fight showed Olaska was not drunk, Brown said.
“The bar and the attorneys handled it in a very reasonable way,” Brown said of the disagreement’s resolution. “We are pleased with the settlement.”
Hayes, 24, is a 2012 graduate of North Central College in Naperville. Brown said his client is “doing well” and now works as a teacher and athletic coach at a high school he declined to identify.
Menza did not reply to a request for an interview a Sun reporter made Friday night at Club Mamalu, nor did he return a telephone message that sought comment on the settlement.
Olaska is accused of stabbing Hayes in the chest with a folding knife, after Hayes reportedly badgered him because he was drinking beer from a wine glass.
Wild, 24, of Wisconsin, graduated from North Central College in 2011, and taught second grade at Spring Brook Elementary School in Naperville. He and Hayes had played football together at North Central.
Naperville police said Wild apparently tried to keep Olaska from leaving the bar after Hayes was slashed, only to be stabbed in the heart. Olaska also is accused of wounding bar security worker Rafael Castaneda, who had tried to wrest the knife from him.
Olaska faces trial on 14 charges that include murder and attempted murder. He is scheduled to return to court Nov. 25, and continues to be held without bond in DuPage County Jail.