When you head to Las Vegas for a trip to the casino, you expect to have a good time. You’re there to enjoy the entertainment, the food, and the gambling. You’re ready to make memories with your friends and family.
Unfortunately, a number of people get hurt each year at Las Vegas casinos. In some cases, the injuries are a severe interruption in their daily lives. You might wonder if the casino can be liable and if you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer for representation. Here’s what you need to know about liability after an injury or accident at a Las Vegas casino.
David Copperfield and the MGM Case
Casino liability for patron injuries is the subject of recent debate. A case against MGM and magician David Copperfield has been making headlines. A casino patron sued after they got hurt participating in a magic trick with Copperfield.
Copperfield invited a number of audience members to participate in a magic trick. The magic trick involved placing audience members up on stage. Copperfield made the audience members disappear and then reappear quickly at the back of the audience. In reality, the audience members quickly ran through a narrow corridor to get to the back of the audience.
On the night that resulted in the lawsuit, a patron who was participating in the magic trick slipped while they were running through the corridor. He slipped on a powdery residue that was located near a trash can. Participants in the lawsuit called the residue construction dust.
The victim in the case suffered brain injuries and other physical injuries. The victim brought a claim seeking recovery of approximately $400,000. It’s up to the jury to decide whether the casino and Copperfield are responsible for the victim’s injuries.
Types of Las Vegas Casino Personal Injury Accidents
You might get hurt in a Las Vegas casino in a number of ways. While slip and fall accidents are probably the first thing that comes to mind, there are actually a number of ways that you might get hurt in a Las Vegas casino:
- Food poisoning
- Falling debris
- A traffic accident in a parking lot
- Falling because of jostling in a crowded space
- Assault and battery from another patron
- Toxic chemicals
- Poor sanitation
- Fall in the shower from inadequate railings
- Slip and falls
The New York New York Case
Another injury case that involves a casino is the Humphries v. New York New York Hotel and Casino case. The case involved an attack. A man began to engage in small talk with another man on the casino floor. One man insulted the other and then punched and kicked him repeatedly. The victim suffered a skull fracture. Another victim suffered head injuries when they tried to intervene.
Even though there was a security officer present, they declined to attempt to stop the attack until backup arrived. There were only five security guards on the floor when the attack occurred, and two of the security guards were occupied with money drops and unavailable to respond to the attack. The casino never conducted an audit to determine if they had enough security. There had been other, similar incidents involving patrons before the attack occurred.
The casino asked the court to adopt a minimum standards test to determine whether the casino had done enough to keep patrons safe. They said that as long as the casino had some security and they followed their company policy at the time the attack occurred, it should be enough to absolve them of any liability for patron attacks. The Nevada Supreme Court said that the casino must do more than just the minimum to protect their patrons. They must do what’s reasonable for their patrons under all of the circumstances.
The Estate of Smith v. Mahoney’s Silver Nugget Case
Another case that talks about casino liability for a patron’s injuries is the Estate of Smith v. Mahoney’s Silver Nugget case. In that 2011 case, the court found that it wasn’t foreseeable for the casino that one patron would fatally shoot another patron during an argument.
In the Smith case, the victim entered the casino to meet friends for a drink. Another patron punched a man. That man responded by fatally shooting the victim. Unlike the New York New York case, the court in the Smith case said that the casino did enough to protect their patrons from foreseeable harm.
Nevada Laws About Casino Liability
There are two ways that a casino may be liable to a victim for injuries that happen at the casino. The first situation is where the casino or its employees are responsible for acting negligently in a way that results in the victim’s injuries. The second situation is where a casino is liable for the acts of other patrons. The rules are a little bit different for each situation when it comes to whether you can hold the casino responsible for your injuries.
When the injury results from the casino’s actions or the actions of casino employees, standard rules of negligence apply. If the casino didn’t act in a careful way that’s reasonable under all of the circumstances, the casino is liable to victims that get hurt. You must prove that the casino acted negligently in a way that resulted in your injuries. Casinos have a high amount of responsibility for protecting their patrons.
Nevada Revised Statute 651.015 talks about casino liability for the acts of other patrons. The law says that casino owners are liable for the actions of other guests if the harm is foreseeable. If the casino isn’t exercising reasonable caution or if there are prior similar incidents, the casino may be liable to the victim for failing to do enough to prevent the harm.
How an Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you’re hurt at a casino, it can cause a significant disruption in your life. An experienced attorney may be able to help. They can help you evaluate whether you have a personal injury claim against the casino. If you have a claim, they can help you pursue it in the best possible way.