The aggravated battery case of New Lenox's Joseph Messina, 24, who is accused of putting a man in a coma after a bar fight in Mokena three years ago, resulted in a law suit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court.
While Messina's guilt or innocence is yet to be determined, the victim in the fight, 29, of Joliet, suffered massive head trauma. He continues to endure debilitating effects. The Chicago Tribune reported that Bartel's mother filed a law suit against Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Provena St. Joseph's Medical Center in Joliet and doctors; the charge is negligence.
The suit, according to the Chicago Tribune, accuses both hospitals of failing to fulfill their obligations as designated Level II trauma centers.
Read more details in the Chicago Tribune.
Messina's bench trial remains on hold until Nov. 14 in Will County Circuit Court. The bench trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma outside a Mokena bar took a back seat to two of the most notorious and highly publicized murder cases in Will County's history.
Messina, 24, allegedly knocked 29-year-old Bartels of Joliet to the ground with a single punch outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009.
After Bartels fell, a witness testified previously, Messina straddled him, punched his face again, and then "raised his arms above his head in victory."
The police arrived quickly and found Messina hiding between the seats of a van, witnesses said.
But defense attorney David Carlson insists Messina didn't throw the punch that broke Bartels' skull and damaged his brain. In fact, Carlson said, Messina didn't punch anyone at all. The attorney said it was actually one of Messina's close friends who struck Bartels.
Messina's trial was postponed until the conclusion of the two lengthy murder prosecutions.
On Oct. 9 prosecuting attorneys told Will County Circuit Judge Sarah Jones they were nearing the end of their list of witnesses. However, a Mokena police detective, a Mokena police officer and three doctors are yet to take the stand before the prosecution rests.