Defendants in a lawsuit alleging a man died from an injury he sustained during a fight in O’Fallon answered the complaint admitting the fight occurred, but argued it was in self defense.

According to the complaint filed Nov. 5, Nelka L. Stowers claims Donald Raymond Stowers was visiting the East St. Louis Knights Club, doing business as KC Council 592, on Nov. 7, 2011, when the incident occurred. The plaintiff alleges defendant Joseph H. Sinovic attacked Donald Stowers.

Stowers suffered injuries including damaged teeth, ankle fractures and deep vein thrombosis in his left leg, resulting in a blood clot that migrated to the lungs and blocked a major artery, the suit states.

Donald Stowers died from his injuries on Nov. 24, 2011.

The Kinghts Club is accused of negligently allowing Sinovic to remain on the premises when it knew he was dangerous, failing to eject him from the premises when it knew he had thrown punches at the plaintiff, failing to warn the plaintiff of Sinovic’s propensity to fight with others and failing to provide security for its patrons.

The Knights Club answered the complaint on Nov. 26 admitting that it had a “duty to protect business invitees from foreseeable, likely criminal acts." But it denied all other allegations against it and demanded a trial by jury.

Represented by Johnathon Brereton-Hubbard of Thompson & McDonald in St. Louis, the Knights Club filed two affirmative defenses saying the plaintiff’s injuries were “neither foreseeable nor likely and defendant therefore had no duty as a matter of law to protect plaintiff from said injuries.”

Defendant Sinovic answered the complaint on Dec. 5 admitting he “punched, struck, or hit Donald Raymond Stowers, but denies he kicked Stowers.”

Sinovic, represented by Erik Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Law Offices in Belleville, alleges he struck the plaintiff in self defense, to prevent harm to himself.

He denied all other allegations.

Nelka L. Stowers seeks a judgment of more than $200,000.

Staci M. Yandle of The Law Offices of Staci M. Yandle in O’Fallon is representing the plaintiff.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-561

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