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    Rockford Walmart stabbing death lawsuit filed in Chicago. Here's why

    By Chris Green, Rockford Register Star,

    30 days ago

    The decision to file a civil lawsuit over the fatal stabbing of a Rockford Walmart employee in Cook County instead of Winnebago County probably came down to a number of factors, legal experts said.

    For starters, it's allowed under the state's venue law.

    Since the defendants — Walmart and and its security company Brosnan Risk Consulting — both do business throughout Illinois, including Chicago, the plaintiff — the family of an 18-year-old Rockford Walmart employee who was stabbed to death while at work — can choose where they wish file suit.

    Chicago-based Attorney Jack Casciato, who is representing Nila Jenkins, the mother of fatal stabbing victim Jason Jenkins of Rockford, filed a civil suit April 11 against Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, as well as Brosnan Risk Consultants and the accused assailant, Timothy Carter .

    "The lawsuit is going to be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County given the substantial presence that Walmart and Brosnan security has here, and the public interest factor that it runs to our state's largest county," said Chicago-based attorney Jack Casciato. "Walmart and Brosnan maintain regular and continuous business here in Cook County, which affords a plaintiff who has the deference and right to pursue a lawsuit in the county of their choice under Illinois' venue statute."

    More: Attorney: List of defendants in fatal Rockford Walmart stabbing lawsuit likely to grow

    Then, there's the belief that settlements are higher in Cook County. The potential to land a more favorable jury coupled with more publicity for the case also could have played a role in the decision.

    "If Walmart has gotten a lot of bad publicity in Cook County, then that's probably the answer to your question," said Dan McConkie, Northern Illinois University associate professor of law. "Walmart might give more money if they think they are more likely to lose in Cook County. So, the value of the settlement goes up. ... I mean, most of these cases never go to trial."

    Rockford personal injury attorney Frank Perrecone of Ferolie & Perrecone Ltd. said there is a general belief that verdicts tend to be larger in Cook County as opposed to other counties in the state.

    "That's changing," Perrecone said. "That doesn't necessarily hold true for every case. It's really on a case-by-case basis."

    Jenkins was stabbed in the back on March 24 at the Northridge Drive Walmart store in Rockford. He died later that evening at a Rockford hospital.

    Carter, 28, of Cabery, Illinois, was arrested at the scene. He is being held in the Winnebago County Jail on homicide and hate crime charges. His next court date is June 14 in Winnebago County.

    Chris Green is a Rockford Register Star general assignment reporter. He can be reached at 815-987-1241, via email and X @chrisfgreen .

    This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Rockford Walmart stabbing death lawsuit filed in Chicago. Here's why

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