Mercy Hospital ordered to tender reports on security in 2018 shooting lawsuit


CHICAGO — An Illinois Appellate Court panel this week ordered Mercy Hospital & Medical Center to tender two reports on the hospital’s security protocols that were created in the wake of a December 2018 shooting that claimed the lives of a pharmacy resident, doctor and Chicago police officer.

The order, handed down Wednesday, mandates that Mercy share the two reports with attorneys for Brian Less, the father of Dayna Less, a pharmacy technician who was killed in the shooting.

Brian Less filed the lawsuit against Mercy about a year after the shooting. During the course of discovery, Mercy disclosed that it retained two experts to review the hospital’s security measures after the shooting occurred.

“Plaintiff sought to determine, among other things, how and why [the shooter, Juan] Lopez was undetected on the hospital premises for over an hour and a half and then reentered the hospital through unlocked doors several minutes after he fired multiple shots in Mercy Hospital’s parking lot (killing his first victim in plain view of hospital security) and how and why Mercy Hospital security failed to announce a ‘Code Silver’ to warn people about the active shooter situation until well after Dayna was dying on the floor of the hospital lobby,” the appellate court panel wrote.

From left: CPD officer Samuel Jimenez, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, Dayna Less | File photos

A Cook County Circuit Court judge ordered Mercy to tender the reports to Brian Less’ earlier this year, but Mercy appealed, claiming the reports were privileged and not subject to discovery. The appellate court panel disagreed.

An attorney for Mercy did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Lopez, the shooter, was previously engaged to Dr. Tamara O’Neal. Shortly after the shooting, police said Lopez approached O’Neal in the hospital’s parking lot, where he then killed her. Lopez went on to fatally shoot Dayna Less and CPD officer Samuel Jimenez. Lopez, too, was killed in the hospital.

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