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By Kate Thayer, Contact Reporter, Chicago Tribune

A group representing firefighters and municipalities hopes to revive a law that protects first responders from getting sued by people they try to help. The so-called "public duty rule" dates to the 1800s and provides firefighters and paramedics broad immunity from lawsuits stemming from their on-the-job actions. But earlier this year, a divided Illinois Supreme Court struck down the public duty rule when it took up a case involving the 2008 death of a Will County woman who had called 911 while home alone after going into cardiac arrest and later died.

According to a lawsuit her family filed against the East Joliet Fire Protection District, paramedics arrived at the home of the 58-year-old woman, but when she didn't come to the door they decided not to force their way in because police were not present. The responders eventually returned and entered the home after the woman's husband came home, but by then 41 minutes had gone by since the initial 911 call. The lawsuit alleged that the delay in providing emergency care to the woman contributed to her death.

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Posted on in In the News

b2ap3_thumbnail_marques-gaines.pngHurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. represents the family of popular Chicago bartender Marques Gaines in their lawsuit against the convenience store chain 7-ELEVEN for Gaines’ violent death on February 7, 2016, on a Chicago street outside of the national chain’s State and Hubbard Street location. Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. filed the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County alleging that the 7-ELEVEN store’s owners, operators and employees had a duty to protect Marcus Gaines while he was an innocent customer of the store. The lawsuit charges that 7-ELEVEN did not properly train personnel and did not provide adequate security during the store’s late-night hours of operation, when the store knew that high rates of criminal activity occurred in and around the store.

The complaint filed by Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. also charges two cab companies, Chicago Taxi and Globe Taxi, along with driver Mehdi Seyftolooi, with negligence in the wrongful death of Gaines.

In nationally televised interviews regarding this tragic death of Marques Gaines, trial attorney Christopher T. Hurley has stated, “There is no doubt about what happened on the morning that Marques Gaines was killed. The video record, culled from 7-ELEVEN’s own security cameras and City of Chicago surveillance tapes, shows the entire incident, from onset to escalation to horrific aftermath.”

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Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net

(April 21, 2016 – Chicago) The family of popular Chicago bartender Marques Gaines sued 7-ELEVEN today for Gaines’ death on the street outside of the national convenience store’s State and Hubbard Street location. There will be a press conference at 10 a.m. (Central) on April 21 outside of this store. Chicago law firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. filed the complaint today in the Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of Phyllis Nelson, Gaines’ aunt. Nelson alleges that 7-ELEVEN store owners, operators and employees are culpable for her nephew’s death. The lawsuit charges that 7-ELEVEN did not properly train personnel and did not provide adequate security during the store’s late-night hours operation.

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By Dave Savini, CBS Chicago

A mother speaks out after her disabled daughter was battered by a nurse in 2013. CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini looks into the nurse’s background and a school’s failure to act quickly to protect the child.

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By Lorraine Swanson, Patch Staff

A South Holland mom is expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday against a home health care provider over claims that her disabled daughter was abused by an employee with a criminal record while attending a Chicago Heights special needs school.

The plaintiff, Veniscia Humphrey, is suing Pediatric Services of America, Inc., for physical abuse her young daughter suffered at the hands of one of the agency’s nurses, who had an extensive criminal background.

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