$1 Million Settlement in West Chicago Strip Club DUI Suit

Diamonds Gentlemen’s Club of West Chicago settled for $1 million in a lawsuit that had been filed after a 2006 DUI crash the resulted in the death of a pregnant woman, her unborn child, and a patron of the club. The suit alleged that John Hamatas and John Chiariello had drank at the club until they were removed by bouncers because Homatas was found vomiting in a restroom. Employees of the club allegedly put Homatas in his car and the two men left. Fifteen minutes later, Homatas allegedly drove head-on into April Simmons’ SUV near South Elgin. Simmons, 27, was 8 months pregnant at the time.

Diamonds paid $800,000 to the husband of Simmons and the remainder of the settlement went to the family of Chiariello. $1 million was the maximum of the club’s insurance policy. Homatas settled a civil case against him for $200,00, which was the maximum amount of his insurance policy. In March, the Illinois Supreme Court found that the club was partially accountable for the accident, sparking settlement talks between the parties.

In 2007, Hamatas, 29, was found guilty in a Kane County court. He is serving 12-years in prison for aggravated DUI and reckless homicide.

West Chicago strip club settles DUI suit for $1 million, www.chicagotribune.com, August 12, 2010

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