Families frustrated as E2 case moves through courts

October 5, 2011 4:21:26 PM PDT
In early 2003, 21 people were killed in a stampede that happened after pepper spray was used to break up a fight in the E2 nightclub.

Today the case is still winding through the courts. The process is increasingly frustrating for families of the victims.

In a courtroom at the Daley Center Wednesday morning, the chance to move one step further in the ongoing E2 nightclub case was put on hold. A ruling was expected on whether the city of Chicago will remain as one of several defendants in the case, but the hearing was continued until next month.

"When you think that you may have justice hemmed in a corner, justice escapes," said Howard Ray, father of victim.

Ray has been keeping a close eye on court proceedings for more than eight years. His son Dashand was a 24-year-old broadcasting student when he and 20 others were killed in the February stampede at the nightclub.

"You think about him every night. Matter of fact, I say a prayer every night for him," said Ray.

A partial settlement against the owners of the nightclub was reached in 2006 here $2.5 million were put in a fund for the victims. But the wait to see if more defendants will be found liable is growing frustrating for families of the victims.

"My attorney told me that we were going to be in trial before the end of the year, and now we're told that it will be at the beginning of next year. So when the next year comes around, what's gonna happen then?" said Ray.

"This is how litigation can work at times when you have a number of parties. every party is taking advantage of their appellate rights and we've experienced that quite a bit in this case," said Mel Brook, plaintiffs' attorney.

Howard Ray says he's trying to convince the FBI to launch its own investigation into what happened the night of the deadly stampede to see if any other organizations could be held liable.

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