[[title]] 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. [[title]] 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 [[title]] 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.”
Security videos show Gaines entering the 7-ELEVEN to make a purchase, and upon trying to exit the store with his purchase, he was 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 revealed whether any suspects are in custody. Marques Gaines's 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 [[title]] at [[phone]].
View a video synopsis of the events here (:30): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoTEDlxRzlg
View the full sequence of events on video here (4:00): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpCm6MYVlUo
Complete unedited videos are available upon request.
Read the complaint filed April 21, 2016 by [[title]] in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Law Division: /images/files/hmm-second-amended-complaint.pdf
View media coverage of the story here: