Father of Slain Palestinian American Boy Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Landlord

The legal action claims that the landlord and the management company failed to recognize the threat

The father of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy who was fatally stabbed in Illinois has taken legal action. Court records reveal that Oday Al-Fayoume filed a wrongful death lawsuit last month against 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, Joseph's wife Mary Czuba, and their property management company, Discerning Property Management.

The incident occurred on October 14, where Joseph Czuba is accused of fatally stabbing Wadea Al-Fayoume and seriously injuring his mother, Hanaan Shahin.

father of Palestinian boy

The lawsuit, filed on November 21, asserts that prior to the attack, Czuba expressed a desire for Shahin and Wadea to vacate their residence of two years, citing concerns that Shahin's "Palestinian friends were going to harm them." The legal action claims that Mary Czuba and the management company failed to recognize the threat and prevent harm to their tenants. A hearing for the case is scheduled for March 11.

Ben Crane, the lawyer representing Oday Al-Fayoume, stated, "Justice comes in many forms ... and there is, obviously, unbelievable loss in Wadea, but his mother also was injured seriously, and we believe that there are avenues to recover compensation for what the family's been through," in an interview with the Associated Press.

According to court records, the Czubas do not yet have legal representation in the wrongful death case. Mary Czuba has filed paperwork to divorce Joseph Czuba.

Investigation and Legal Proceedings

Joseph Czuba, who pleaded not guilty in court in October, faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and two counts of hate crime, according to a grand jury indictment last week. He remains in detention in Will County, awaiting a January hearing in the criminal case.

Authorities allege that Czuba's actions were motivated by his "hatred of Muslims" and were a response to the Israel-Hamas war. The attack, investigated as a hate crime, took place in an unincorporated area of Plainfield Township, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.

The Will County Sheriff's Office deputies discovered Wadea and Shahin with severe stab wounds on the morning of October 14. While Wadea succumbed to his injuries, Shahin survived and provided details to authorities. She revealed that Czuba attacked her and Wadea after aggressively confronting her about the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The incident has garnered national attention and condemnation from public officials and advocates. The Justice Department has initiated a federal hate crimes investigation, with Attorney General Merrick Garland warning that the attack could renew fears within Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities.