Brutal beating at Granite City tavern prompts $150k suit

By Steve Gonzalez | Apr 28, 2008

Lenny's in Granite City

A man who claims he was brutally attacked at a Granite City tavern filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court April 16, alleging his injuries were so severe he had to be airlifted to a St. Louis hospital.

Joe Hays claims he was at Lenny's Tavern on Illinois Drive in Granite City on July 21, 2006, when a patron placed him in a "bear-hug hold" and held him there while various other bar patrons hit him in the head and body with beer bottles, baseball bats, sticks and bricks and kicked and punched him in the face and stabbed him twice in the back.

Hays claims that several times during the assault, he cried out for help for bar employees to call 911, but his calls for help went unanswered until another bar patron finally called 911.

Hays claims that by the time police arrived he was taken by ambulance to Gateway Regional Medical Center where he was airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital due to a considerable amount of blood loss.

According to Hays, he still suffers pain in his left side and front and back chest and that his pain interferes with his ability to perform his work as a roofer.

He claims Lenny's negligently failed to exercise ordinary care in protecting patrons from physical harm, failed to act to protect patrons from negligent and intentional attacks and failed to render assistance after the unprovoked attack began.

Represented by Billie Johnson of Edwardsville, Hays is seeking damages in excess of $150,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David Hylla.

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