Fraternity Member Stabbing Victim Suing For Damages

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Athens Messenger staff reports

Dateline
Updated Thu, Feb 20, 2014 1:53 pm

The victim of a fight between members of two fraternities is seeking damages to pay for physical and psychological pain sustained when he was stabbed with a beer bottle one year ago.

Michael Gallas, of Athens, filed a lawsuit in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Feb. 12, asking for more than $25,000 to pay for medical bills and other expenses incurred after a group of Ohio University students attacked him, according to court documents.

Gallas names Patrick Barry, Mario Jenkins, Gabriel Sirkin and five unidentified individuals in the suit.

Barry, 21, was charged criminally in the attack on Gallas, which occurred in February 2013, and pleaded guilty in October to aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony. He entered a diversion program as part of a plea agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor's Office. He was originally charged with felonious assault.

Barry was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity when he used a broken glass bottle to stab Gallas three times in the midsection, according to previous Messenger reporting. Gallas was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

According to the lawsuit, the stabbing happened after a "verbal disagreement" Gallas had with Mario Jenkins, which continued outside Courtside Pizza on Court Street in Athens.

The disagreement became physical and Jenkins "organized friends and associates," intending to start a fight with Gallas, stated the lawsuit written by attorney Jay Hurlbert.

Gallas was hit in the face by Jenkins, causing a broken tooth, and while Gallas was recovering, Sirkin gave a beer bottle to Barry, who broke the bottle and "proceeded to repeatedly stab" Gallas, Hurlbert alleges.

The actions of Jenkins and Barry "constitute malice," the lawsuit stated and all parties should be considered negligent.

"By organizing friends and associates Mario Jenkins created a mob seeking to harm ... Gallas and, as such, the injuries to Gallas were a foreseeable consequence," Hurlbert wrote.

Sirkin was negligent and in violation of the law, according to the lawsuit, for possessing a beer bottle outside a liquor establishment and giving and/or allowing Barry to take the bottle "knowing that Barry was likely to use it as a weapon in attempting to harm" Gallas.

The stab wounds created a "life-threatening event" that required emergency care, Herbert argued, and "significantly scarred" Gallas.

During Barry's criminal case, he was ordered to pay $4,876 in restitution, as payment for medical bills.

The lawsuit asks the court to award compensatory and punitive damages in an amount in excess of $25,000, plus interest.

It also includes a demand for an eight-person jury to hear the case.

None of the other parties have filed a response to the lawsuit, according to the Athens County court database.

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