Plaintiff seeks default judgment against La Mexicana over shooting, killing

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Nov 12, 2012

The plaintiff in a lawsuit against a Pontoon Beach Mexican restaurant filed a motion for default judgment on Nov. 7.

La Mexicana is accused of causing the death of a Granite City man who was shot and killed on its premises in 2011.

Brenda Ortiz, administrator of the estate of Jesus Ortiz-Flores and Luis F. Ortiz filed a lawsuit Aug. 15 in Madison County Circuit Court against La Mexicana Restaurant Inc., Orlando Gudino, Berzain Gudino and Oscar Guidno. Chouteau Properties Inc. is also listed as a defendant.

Ortiz says the defendant has refused to respond to the lawsuit and has not answered her complaint within the time prescribed by the court. She is requesting a motion of default judgment and “for any such other and further relief this Court deems just and appropriate,” the motion states.

The lawsuit stems from an Aug. 19, 2011 shooting at La Mexicana on Chouteau Trace Parkway in Pontoon Beach, the suit states. According to police statements to the media after the incident, Jesus Ortiz-Flores, 20, was shot once in the head in the parking lot of the La Mexicana restaurant and died. Plaintiff Luis Ortiz, who was 18 at the time, was allegedly shot multiple times during the incident but survived.

The plaintiffs accuse La Mexicana restaurant and Chouteau Properties, owner of the building, of contributing to the shootings. The Ortizes contend the restaurant served alcohol to the alleged shooter allowing him to become intoxicated and then attack Ortiz-Flores, causing his death. They say the defendants’ actions constitute a violation of the Illinois Dram Shop Act.

The Ortizes ask to be awarded more than $50,000.

D. Jeffrey Ezra and Sarah D. Smith of Collinsville represent the Ortizes.

John P. Gibbons is the attorney for Chouteau Properties.

Gibbons on Sept. 18 requested the Madison County Circuit Clerk to send him copies of documents and orders filed in the case.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-1300

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