Jurors have decided a personal injury attorney must pay more than $200,000 to a man he stabbed in the rib cage with a steak knife in the lobby of a posh hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

The clash during New Year's revelry ringing in 2014 at Manny's Living Room and Prohibition Bar on the main level of the W Minneapolis Hotel in Foshay Tower was ignited when the victim made a suggestive joke about his beauty queen fiancée and his attacker's wife, according to court records.

The verdict against Michael Riehm by the Hennepin County District Court jury awaits final judgment by Judge Bridget Sullivan. Riehm has already been convicted of felony first-degree assault and put on supervised probation for seven years in his attack on Daniel Kerkinni, 31, of Edina.

Most of the money awarded by the jury is for Kerkinni's medical expenses, with smaller amounts for "pain, disability and emotional distress" and loss of earnings. There's also a $25,000 punitive judgment against Riehm. The overall total Riehm is liable for could shrink, depending on what Kerkinni's health insurance covers for the injuries.

The operators of Manny's Steakhouse and the hotel were also sued, but not found liable by the judge. Kerkinni's suit contended that the bar and hotel employees failed to do enough to break up the confrontation involving an "obviously intoxicated" Riehm.

Kerkinni's attorney said Thursday he intends to try and have the bar and hotel's operators reinstated as defendants.

"It is certainly something that we will pursue [on appeal]," said attorney David Bolt. "The bar manager had determined that Mr. Riehm was the aggressor, and he decided to eject Mr. Riehm, and he walked him back toward the door."

However, Bolt continued, Riehm's wife stopped to use a bathroom, and the bar manager "changed his mind" and did not kick out Riehm.

"If he had followed his own rule … he admitted that if he had ejected Mr. Riehm, none of this would have happened," Bolt said.

Les Gelhar, an attorney for the bar and related businesses, said Thursday that "even with hindsight, I don't know that this particular event could have been predicted or prevented. Unfortunately, Mr. Riehm grabbed a knife and stabbed Mr. Kerkinni."

Messages left Thursday by the Star Tribune for Riehm's attorney, Aaron Ponce, have yet to be returned.

The suit alleged that a drunken Riehm, of Minneapolis, became "verbally and physically agitated when Kerkinni made "an offhand joking remark" to Riehm's wife while the two women were talking in the bar.

The criminal complaint against Riehm further detailed that Kerkinni heard Riehm's wife, Heather Griego, compliment his fiancée, Sitania Syrovatka, on her looks. Kerkinni then explained to Griego that Syrovatka, a model and 2002 Miss South Dakota, "was already taken." That comment upset Griego and Riehm, according to the charging document.

The criminal complaint continued:

Riehm and Kerkinni got in a shoving match that bar security broke up. Sometime later, Griego tried to kick Kerkinni in the groin. Riehm intervened, and again bar security broke up the two.

However, as Kerkinni was getting ready to leave, Riehm confronted him in the lobby and "thrust at [Kerkinni]" in the rib cage with a large restaurant-style steak knife. The stabbing punctured and deflated Kerkinni's lung.

A waitress told police she saw Riehm get the knife and say, "Nobody hits my wife in the face."

Along with Riehm's troubles in the civil and criminal matters, his license to practice law could be suspended by the state Supreme Court for five years.

As for Kerkinni, the financial analyst moved out of downtown Minneapolis because of the stabbing and will soon marry Syrovatka.

"He has some limitations because of the stabbing," Bolt said. "There is some scar tissue in his left lung, and he has some psychological issues."

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482