Doc stabbed in Mag Mile bathroom sues restaurant, hotel, alleged attacker
BY LEEANN SHELTON Staff Reporter January 7, 2013 9:00PM
Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged in November with stabbing an Oak Brook oncologist in a Michigan Avenue restaurant bathroom. | Chicago Police photo
Updated: January 7, 2013 11:49PM
An Oak Brook oncologist stabbed last November during an “unprovoked” attack in a Michigan Avenue restaurant bathroom is suing his attacker and the eatery and the hotel where it’s located. Dr. Mir Jafar Shah was having dinner with his family at a restaurant at the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago Hotel when he was stabbed in the face.
Jimmy Harris, who had been released from parole a week before the stabbing, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint and ordered held without bond, authorities said. During Harris’ bond hearing, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said that when Shah tried to scream for help, his attacker punched him and dragged Shah back into the bathroom when he tried to escape.
Shah, who had been downtown for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, eventually got away from his attacker. A bartender at the Westin also was stabbed when he chased after the attacker.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, Shah accuses the Westin and The Grill on the Alley of failing to make proper security checks, and for allowing unauthorized people access to their facilities. Harris also is named as a defendant. In the suit, Shah claims he is disfigured because of the attack and will continue to face medical expenses.
A manager for the Westin Michigan Avenue hotel declined to comment on the suit when reached Monday evening. The Grill on the Alley had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit, said marketing director Karen Sabourin, who declined to comment on it Monday night.
Shah’s family said at the time that he was fortunate to be near Northwestern Memorial Hospital after he escaped the “surprise, unprovoked attack.”
“This was an enjoyable night out for the family [that] turned horribly tragic,” said Mahin Samadani, Shah’s son-in-law, in a statement from the family after the stabbing. “But it could have been much, much worse.”
Harris had been on parole for an armed robbery conviction, in which he used a broken bottle to cut his victim during a retail theft, Scaduto said. He has eight other felony convictions dating back to the late ’70s, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.
The three-count suit claims negligence and premises liability against the Westin and the restaurant, and it also claims negligence and personal injury against Harris. It seeks an unspecified amount in damages.