Partial settlement in lawsuit over bartender killed outside River North 7-Eleven
Loop North News

MARQUES GAINES 418 N State St - MAP

14-Jan-17 – The taxi driver who accidentally ran over Marques Gaines as he lay unconscious in the street outside a convenience store in River North, nearly one year ago, has settled in the lawsuit filed by Marques’ family against multiple parties.

Gaines, a 32-year-old bartender at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, was at the 7-Eleven at State & Hubbard Streets on February 7, 2016, just after 4 a.m.

Suspect in Marques Gaines homicide A stocky man with a beard – who had been turned away from the store by a security guard – got into a shouting match with the guard and with Marques as he left the store. The shouting escalated to violence and the man struck Marques in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious into the street, where he was run over by a Globe Taxi driven by Mehdi Seyftolooi. Gaines was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital but died four hours later of multiple blunt force injuries.

(Left) Photo of suspect in Marques Gaines homicide. (Click on image to view larger version.)

The settlement was approved by a probate court on November 1, 2016, according to Evan Smola, an attorney with Hurley McKenna & Mertz, the law firm representing the family. He says they are still suing 7-Eleven, Inc., based in Dallas, and its local franchise, Kala 1341, Inc.

“We are conducting discovery on both parties now as to the security procedures they have in place,” said Smola (right).

The lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court claims negligence and wrongful death.

Evan Smola

The complaint says 7-Eleven failed to properly train its employees to keep patrons safe, failed to provide properly trained security personnel during late-night hours of operation, and “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.”

Corner has history of late-night crime

Last April, attorney Christopher Hurley said 7-Eleven is aware of criminal activity near the store, especially late at night, and knew of the assailant from previous incidents. City records, he said, show numerous assaults and robberies within one block of the store.

In July, Hurley’s firm subpoenaed 911 call logs to Chicago Police Department involving the 7-Eleven since 2010 and got back 1,100 records printed on 33 pages. On February 7, 2016, there were three 911 calls to police – the call about Marques, an unrelated disturbance at 4:43 p.m., and a call at 7:51 p.m. to say police were not needed.

During the entire year, according to police records, there were 123 incidents in the 400 block of North State Street, where the 7-Eleven is located, more than any other year on that block since 2002. An arrest was made in 20 percent of the cases. Theft accounted for one-third of the incidents.

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) 7-Eleven at corner of State & Hubbard, next door to Mother Hubbard’s Sports Pub with its dark red awning.

No arrest, but suspect may be known to police

The family believes they and authorities know the identity of the man who assaulted Marques.

Photo by Steven Dahlman “We actually had an investigator that helped us find him,” said Marques’ cousin, Drexina Nelson (left). “We found out who he was. He matches the description. They found out from people in the area who he was.”

Police have not made an arrest and although the family receives updates, Nelson says they are frustrated with progress of the investigation.

“They’re really making it difficult for the family. We’ve never dealt with anything like this so we don’t really know what to do.”

Lionel Craft, an investigator for Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, who was previously a Special Agent for the FBI in Houston for 23 years, referred questions from Loop North News to Chicago Police Department but CPD did not respond.

 Previous story: New photo shows more clearly suspect in Marques Gaines homicide

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 14-Jan-17 3:21 AM

Loop North News

FREE WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE

See what’s news in the Loop
and Near North Side.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

Bill would delete ‘proper purpose’ requirement to see condo records
Detroit’s ‘Man in The City’ art project tours Chicago River
Home hunters better move quickly in hot North Side market
Environmentalists want river-dyeing tradition to end
Gold Coast condo backs away from threat to fine owner over door-dropped letter
Osteria La Madia closes Saturday
Judge denies injunction, says Airbnb ordinance doesn’t impinge homeowner rights
Are condo & HOA bank deposits fully insured by Uncle Sam?
More stories

Thursday
City Club of Chicago presents Howard Tullman, CEO, 1871. Tullman is also General Managing Partner for Chicago-based venture capital funds Chicago High Tech Investment Partners and G2T3V. Over the past 45 years, he has successfully founded more than a dozen high-tech companies. 11:30 a.m. reception, 12:00 p.m. luncheon. Maggiano’s Banquets, 111 West Grand Avenue. Cost: $50. Map. More info.

Thursday
Job Floris, architect and co-founder of the Dutch architecture firm Monadnock, will present a talk about the firm’s practice and their participation in Graham Foundation’s current exhibition, Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth. 6 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.

Friday
Explore the vivid history of America’s largest Chinatown through the eyes of a new generation in Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees, a Goodman Theatre-commissioned world premiere that was developed in the 2015 New Stages Festival. Yee’s longtime collaborator Joshua Kahan Brody directs her offbeat and electric joy ride about living in the contemporary world while honoring one’s rich ancestral heritage and the conflict that ensues. March 31 through April 30. Tickets: $10-40. Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn Street. Map. More info.

More events

S&P 500
2,358.57 16.98

NASDAQ COMPOSITE
5,875.14 34.77

LOOP/NORTH
40.13 0.30

Biggest Gainers & Losers

UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS INC.
70.74 2.37

LITTELFUSE INC.
161.24 2.08

BOEING CO.
177.36 1.26

Downtown Chicago Stocks