. .

Invest in your success.
JVRA helps lawyers win cases by providing critical information you can use to establish precedent, determine demand and win arguments.

ARTICLE ID 7576

$________ Negligence per se asserted against casino where underage plaintiff was served alcohol and allowed to gamble - Plaintiff dropped off by companion at truck and proceeds to drive home - While at the wheel, plaintiff lost control of vehicle resulting in rollover accident - Plaintiff, who was not wearing his seat belt, was ejected from the truck - Multiple vertebral fractures - Thoracic laminectomy.

30th Judicial District Court, Parish of Vernon, State of Louisiana

The male plaintiff was 19 years old when he was injured in a single-vehicle, rollover accident on his way home from Grand Casino, where he had gambled for hours while being served alcohol by the defendants’ staff. The plaintiff asserted claims of negligence and negligence per se against the Grand Casino and other defendants, arguing that the staff served the underage plaintiff alcohol and continued to serve him when he was visibly intoxicated. The plaintiff cited Louisiana law, which fixes the minimum age for drinking and/or gambling at 21. The plaintiff contended that his multiple severe injuries were proximately caused by the Grand Casino’s illegal and tortious conduct. The defendant Grand Casinos of Louisiana, L.L.C. - Coushatta, was the corporation formed to facilitate the operation of the defendant Grand Casino. The defendant Lakes Gaming, Inc. is a management company that entered into a management agreement with the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to manage the Grand Casino. The agreement required Lakes Gaming to, among other things, provide security to the premises.

On the evening of May 9, ________, the male plaintiff, then 19 years old, drove with his friends from Leesville, Louisiana, to Kinder, Louisiana (an approximately one-and-one-half-hour drive), to visit the Grand Casino. Upon arrival, the Grand Casino admitted the plaintiff without requesting a showing of identification and permitted him to consume alcohol and to gamble, in direct violation of Louisiana law. The plaintiff was prepared to demonstrate that Louisiana law prohibits the service of alcohol to persons under 21 years of age and also prohibits gaming by persons under that age. The plaintiff was served numerous alcoholic beverages free of charge over an extended period of time, and the service of alcohol allegedly continued even when the plaintiff and his companions appeared visibly intoxicated, according to the plaintiff’s claims. The plaintiff remained at the Grand Casino drinking and gambling until he lost all of his money, finally leaving at approximately 5:00 A.M. on the morning of May 10, ________.

The group then left the Grand Casino, with the plaintiff’s friend behind the wheel. The group dropped the plaintiff off at his truck, located within a few miles of his home. During the short drive home, however, the plaintiff lost control of his truck. The vehicle left the highway and rolled, ejecting the plaintiff, who was not wearing a seat belt. The plaintiff’s blood-alcohol level was later measured to be .10. The plaintiffs contended that the Grand Casino acted negligently and committed negligence per se by permitting the plaintiff to consume alcohol and to gamble, in violation of Louisiana law, which fixes a minimum age of 21 on individuals desiring to either consume alcohol or gamble. The plaintiff also contended that the defendant Grand Casino acted negligently and committed negligence per se in continuing to serve the plaintiff alcohol despite the fact that he was obviously intoxicated. The plaintiff alleged that his intoxication, lack of sleep, and post-gambling depression combined to cause the plaintiff to crash his truck.

The plaintiff asserted that his injuries were solely and exclusively caused by the Grand Casino’s illegal conduct in serving the plaintiff alcohol and permitting him to gamble. The plaintiff’s father also asserted a loss of consortium claim. The evidence indicated that the father had cared for the plaintiff since the date of the crash.

The plaintiff suffered multiple vertebral fractures and a spinal cord injury at the C5 level. He underwent a thoracic laminectomy, a thoracic fusion, rod pedicle screw and hook instrumentation and an iliac bone graft harvest. The plaintiff suffers from a permanent loss of feeling and function below the nipple and suffers many attendant problems normally associated with spinal cord injuries of this magnitude. At the time of the subject accident, the plaintiff was employed by a power line company, earning approximately $________ annually.

The defendants argued that the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, not a party to the subject action, was the only party at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries, insofar as the Coushatta Tribe owned the Grand Casino and employed its staff. The defendants also claimed that numerous parties, including the Coushatta Tribe, the plaintiff, his friends, his parents and an unidentified driver who allegedly forced the plaintiff off the road, were comparatively at fault.

A mediation was held on October 24, ________, during which the plaintiffs agreed to a settlement with the defendants Grand Casinos of Louisiana, L.L.C. - Coushatta and Lakes Gaming, Inc.

The defendants paid a joint sum of $________.

To read the full article, please login to your account or purchase

5 ways to win with JVRA

JVRA gives you jurisdiction-specific, year-round insight into the strategies, arguments and tactics that win. Successful attorneys come to the table prepared and use JVRA to:

  1. Determine if a case is winnable and recovery amounts.
  2. Determine reasonable demand for a case early on.
  3. Support a settlement demand by establishing precedent.
  4. Research trial strategies, tactics and arguments.
  5. Defeat or support post-trial motions through past case histories.

Try JVRA for a day or a month, or sign up for our deluxe Litigation Support Plan and put the intelligence of JVRA to work for all of your clients. See our subscription plans.