Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Washington Park bar claims employee acted in self-defense in assault suit

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 23, 2015


A Washington Park bar claims one of its employees was acting in self-defense after a patron attempted to attack him with a knife.

Patron Tom Hornbeak filed a lawsuit on Aug. 10 against STMP Entertainment, doing business as Blondies, and employee Danny McNatt.

Hornbeak claims he was at Blondies on June 23, 2014, when McNatt allegedly punched him in the face, causing him to suffer facial fractures.

He alleges STMP failed to keep its workers from using excessive force, failed to train its workers, failed to recognize McNatt’s allegedly violent tendencies, failed to properly supervise McNatt and allowed McNatt to use excessive force.

However, STMP answered the complaint on Sept. 23 through attorneys John Cunningham and Daniel Hasenstab of Brown & James in Belleville, arguing that McNatt acted in self-defense after the plaintiff allegedly attacked him with a knife.

STMP also alleges the plaintiff was told to leave the premises, meaning he was not a business invitee and the defendant had no legal duty to protect him from third parties.

“At the time of his alleged injury, plaintiff was a trespasser on defendant’s premises because he had been specifically instructed to leave the premises prior to his injury, and he refused to do so,” the answer states.

The defendant argues that any alleged injuries are Hornbeak’s own fault because he failed to exercise reasonable care for his own safety when he allegedly made derogatory and racially offensive comments to people inside the defendant’s premises, refused to leave the premises when instructed to do so and attempted to attack McNatt with a knife.

Hornbeak answered STMP’s affirmative defenses on Oct. 8 through attorney Eric Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick Law Offices in Belleville. He denied all allegations brought against him.

McNatt also answered the complaint on Sept. 23 through attorney Charles Courtney Jr. of Courtney, Clark & Mejias of Belleville. He claims Hornbeak attacked him in the parking lot and that he acted in self-defense.

Hornbeak answered McNatt’s affirmative defenses on Oct. 1, denying all allegations against him.

He seeks damages of more than $150,000, plus legal costs.

Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson scheduled a case management conference for Feb. 16 at 9 a.m.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-451

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Organizations in this Story

Brown & James, P.C.Courtney, Clark & Assoc.