The owners and operators of a Washington Park convenience store are being sued by a customer who was shot in the store's parking lot.
Kevin Anderson filed a lawsuit March 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Crown Food Mart, also known as Mobil Crown Mart, Washington Park Mobil or Mobil Gas & Food Mart. Magdi Gharib and Kings Food Phillips Inc. are also named as defendants.
Anderson says he stopped at the Mobil Crown Mart in September 2011 with his wife and walked to the passenger side of the truck to open the door for her. While walking next to his vehicle Anderson was allegedly shot by a bullet intended for someone else. According to the complaint, Anderson was hit in the heart by a round allegedly fired by Angelo S. Bennett Jr. Anderson was rushed to St. Louis University Hospital for emergency surgery but claims the bullet remains lodged in his liver.
This suit is at least the fourth one filed against Crown Mart and others over separate shootings. Other individuals have sued over incidents that occurred in July and August 2010 and in January 2012.
Prior to Anderson's arrival at Mobil Crown Mart, Bennett and his friends allegedly bought alcohol from the store and proceeded to drink it on the property. Gharib, an employee, told Bennett to leave, according to the petition, and when he refused, an argument ensued between Gharib and Bennett.
Eventually, Bennett and his friends left but allegedly just hid on the north side of the Mobil Crown Mart where lighting and surveillance cameras were non-existent. According to the petition, Bennett continued to drink while he made plans to shoot Gharib in retaliation for the confrontation. When Gharib did come out of the store, Bennett allegedly shot three times from a handgun, missing Gharib but hitting Anderson. The plaintiff also claims a uniformed security guard was on the premises but did nothing to stop the situation from escalating.
Anderson claims he was unaware of the dangerous situation that awaited him when he stopped at the Mobil Crown Mart that night. He also says he was not aware of the dangerous history of the convenience store but later learned criminals would routinely hide undetected on the north side of the property and allegedly attack and rob customers, the lawsuit reads.
Anderson accuses the employees and Kings Food Phillips, the owner of Mobil Crown Mart, of negligence for failing to provide a safe environment for customers and not warning them of the dangers. He asks for more than $100,000 in damages and court costs.
Attorneys Brian J. Massimino of Chicago and Michael T. George of St. Louis represent Anderson. They ask for a jury trial.
St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-157