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Suit: Fatal Bucktown nightclub shooting brought on by owner’s, city’s negligence

A nightclub owner’s management practices and the City of Chicago’s negligence led to a fatal shooting outside a Bucktown nightclub last month, a newly filed lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit was filed by the estate of Deonta Jackson Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. Sam Menetti, owner of Dolphin Chicago, and the City of Chicago were named as defendants.

About 3 a.m. on March 16, a fight broke out inside the club at 2200 N. Ashland, police said at the time.

As the fight continued, security guards pushed Jackson toward the nightclub’s north exit, at which point someone fatally shot him, the suit stated.

Jackson, 35, of the 600 block of West 115th Street, was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Another man, 41-year-old Elijah Moore, of the 7700 block of South Bishop, was also killed in the shooting, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Two other men were also shot and survived.

The lawsuit stated that Menetti failed to properly train his security employees and failed to properly control crowds at the nightclub.

“But for Mr. Menetti’s negligent operation of a dangerous nightclub, Deonta Jackson would not have been shot and killed at said club,” the suit stated.

Menetti could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

The city knew of the problems at the nightclub after several reminders from 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack, the suit said.

“But for the City of Chicago’s negligence in ignoring Alderman Waguespack’s repeated requests to close Dolphin Nightclub, the club would have been closed long before the incident in question caused Deonta Jackson’s death,” the suit stated.

A spokesman for the city’s Law Department declined to comment, saying the department has not had an opportunity to review the suit yet.

Two days after the shooting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved to make it easier for the city to shut down bars with a history of police incidents. Until a shuttered bar provided a “plan of action” to address safety concerns that would need further approval, it would remain closed.

Calls to the Dolphin Nightclub were not answered Monday evening.

The five-count suit alleges wrongful death and seeks more than $250,000 in damages.