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Family of Slain Bartender Sues 7-ELEVEN for Wrongful Death

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Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333,

(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.

The complaint amends an earlier suit, which charged two cab companies, Chicago Taxi and Globe Taxi, along with driver Mehdi Seyftolooi, with negligence in the wrongful death of Gaines. The family is seeking significant damages against each of the defendants in the suit, which now includes 7-ELEVEN.

• WHAT: Press conference addressing wrongful death lawsuit against 7-ELEVEN
• WHEN: Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 10 a.m. (Central)
• WHERE: Outside of the 7-ELEVEN at 414 North State Street, Chicago
• MAP:
• WHO: Family of the deceased, Marques Gaines, including Phyllis Nelson, aunt, and Drexina Nelson, cousin, along with Chris Hurley and Evan Smola, attorneys at Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.

The family’s attorney, Chris Hurley, 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.”

Security videos show Gaines entering the 7-ELEVEN to make a purchase, and upon exiting, being confronted by an unruly patron who had just been removed from the store. The belligerent man punches Gaines, sending him toppling over unconscious into the street immediately in front of the store. The video shows the 7-ELEVEN security employee and other store personnel ignoring the fallen Gaines as he is robbed, left in the street unconscious for approximately two minutes, and eventually run over by a cab driven by Seyftolooi.

The lawsuit cites claims by 7-ELEVEN that “crime deterrence is a priority,” contrasting that statement with the sequence of events on February 7. The suit also notes the prevalence of crime in the area immediately surrounding the store, particularly late at night. Court documents allege that:
• 7-ELEVEN failed to properly train its employees to keep patrons safe
• 7-ELEVEN failed to provide properly trained security personnel during late-night hours of operation
• 7-ELEVEN failed to assist a customer as he lay unconscious in the street after being attacked by a patron ejected from the store by 7-ELEVEN security

The Chicago Police Department has not indicated to the family or their attorneys whether they have any suspects in custody. The family is asking any witnesses of the event to come forward, especially anyone who can identify either the alleged assailant or the individual who left the scene with him. Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact either Chris Hurley or Evan Smola of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. at 312-553-4900.

View a video synopsis of the events here (:30):
View the full sequence of events on video here (4:00):

Complete unedited videos are available upon request.

Read the complaint filed April 21, 2016 by Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Law Division: /images/files/hmm-second-amended-complaint.pdf

About Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.

Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. is a partnership of trial lawyers dedicated to fighting for the rights of ordinary people who have suffered serious personal injuries due to negligence. The firm takes pride in obtaining the best possible recoveries for clients, while advocating for changes in the law to protect the community. Visit to learn more.

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