Family of hurt UT athlete sues Yassines

AUSTIN (KXAN) – The family of a University of Texas soccer athlete injured in a February hit-and-run is now suing Yassine Enterprises, the company that owns a chain of Downtown Austin bars that were recently shut down by FBI agents as part of an extensive drug raid.

In addition to the numerous physical injuries the lawsuit lists for Kylie Doniak, it contends: “In an instant, she went from being an independent, highly accomplished soccer star at the University of Texas, weeks away from completing her senior year and graduating from college, to a young child trapped in a 22-year-old’s body.”

Doniak has been recovering since 22-year-old suspected drunken driver Nicholas Colunga hit her as she crossed the street. Colunga is charged with intoxication assault and failure to stop and render aid.

The Doniak family has brought the lawsuit against the Sixth Street bars Vice and Fuel and their parent organizations, CKAN, Inc. and Yassine Enterprises, respectively.

The family alleges both companies — as licensed providers of alcoholic beverages — provided alcohol to an intoxicated adult, Colunga, who then went on to get into a wreck that night in Downtown Austin with Doniak.

The lawsuit goes on to say that “it was apparent to Vice [and Fuel] that Nicholas Ray Colunga was obviously intoxicated and presented a clear danger to himself and to others,” alleging that his “intoxication proximately caused injury to plaintiffs.”

Damages listed in lawsuit

Kylie Doniak

  • physical pain, in the past and in the future
  • disfigurement, in the past and in the future
  • mental impairment, in the past and in the future
  • mental anguish, in the past and in the future
  • medical expenses, in the past and in the future
  • lost earning capacity
  • future lost earnings

Mother Lori Doniak

  • mental anguish, in the past and in the future
  • lost wages
  • value of services caring for Kylie
  • out-of-pocket expenses

Father Dave Doniak

  • mental anguish, in the past and in the future
  • lost wages
  • value of services caring for Kylie
  • out-of-pocket expenses

The Doniak family is seeking “unliquidated damages within the jurisdictional limits ” of the district court.

Drug raid on Yassine Enterprises

The FBI raid of four downtown nightclubs left 10 people arrested and charged with federal crimes — including firearms, money laundering and drug trafficking that allegedly dates back to December 2007.

Hussein Ali Yassine, his two brothers and their executive assistant were in the group arrested in connection to the March 22 raid on several Sixth Streets bars between Neches and Trinity streets.

The Texas Comptroller’s Office seized $150,000 in cash and other assets when they conducted a search of Yassine Enterprises on April 25.

A special agent from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service testified that in March of this year, Mike Yassine moved an “unknown” amount of money from a Swiss bank account to a Lebanese bank account in the name of his mother. These transactions totaled up to $132,000 throughout the last several years, he said.

He also testified that the brothers fell behind in liquor sales taxes due the state, which could reach $2.5 million.

At the same time, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has said it will hold a hearing in the near future and plans to cancel eight of the liquor permits Yassine Enterprises holds for its clubs.

Even so, many of the bars in the downtown district remain closed and are actually up for sale.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has set an Oct. 1 trial date for several suspects in the raid.

Doniak’s recovery process

As stated in the lawsuit, “Today Kylie still has little short-term memory. She cannot recognize many of her closest friends. She has trouble communicating and gets very easily frustrated. She needs additional physical therapy and still more surgery.”

Three months after that devastating wreck and several medical facilities later, Doniak finally got to sleep at home rather than in medical facilities. Suffering from a broken leg and a damaged ACL in her knee, she is now able to walk without a cane permanently.

“Her knee is still bothering her, so keep praying for her knee to get stronger and for her balance to become better and better,” read a post by her sister, Alyssa, on the CaringBridge website in early May. “We are focusing on pain management and strength exercises for now.”

Doniak spent two months in medical facilities following her injuries, and she moved back home to California in late February so she could continue her rehab but for the first time on April 18 — headed to the comfort of her home to sleep in her own bed.

According to her sister, Doniak is now tasked with the daily prayer at the family’s dinner every night, thanking God profusely for everything she and her family have been blessed with.

“She told us last night that she was so happy that she could be used by God to bring people to Him. I was speechless (and teared up of course),” said Alyssa. “Keep praying for her clarity