E2 Owners Sue Chicago

The owners of now-defunct E2 Nightclub filed a $4 million suit against the city of Chicago a year after an appellate court overturned the men’s convictions in connection to a 2003 stampede at their club that left 21 people dead.

Dwain Kyles and Calvin Hollins were originally found guilty of violating a city order and sentenced to two years in prison.
But with the reversal of the decision, the men decided to proceed with a civil suit that alleges they suffered financial and emotional distress after being unfairly accused of criminal contempt by city prosecutors, according to court documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

“There were no facts to support probable cause for the criminal contempt charges,” the suit says.

Kyles and Hollins were originally accused of involuntary manslaughter in the case, though the charges were later dropped. City prosecutors then decided to pursue contempt charges by arguing the men failed to follow an order to close
the club’s second floor over structural problems, the Sun-Times said.

The Illinois appellate court decision agreed the city’s argument was unclear.

“The city asserted that if respondents had been acting in compliance with that order, there would not have been 21 dead and 50 injured patrons,” the opinion reportedly said. “There was no explanation as to how the building code violations related to the actual incident and tragic deaths and injuries.”