If my mother sustained a strange injury while at a casino, is the casino liable and can she sue?

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If my mother sustained a strange injury while at a casino, is the casino liable and can she sue?

For her 50th birthday my mother family went to dinner at an casino. While there she ordered a pink lemonade; she took one sip and immediately felt a type of burning pain on her lip. She’s had the pink lemonade there several times in the past without issue. It’s now 2 days later and she is still experiencing pain and irritation. She says “it feel almost like a chemical burn”. Can she sue is the casino not liable?

Asked on February 5, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The incident should have been reported to the casino when it occurred; otherwise, it may be difficult to prove that it occurred there.  Prior to filing a lawsuit against the casino for negligence, your mother should file a claim with the casino's insurance carrier.  It would be advisable to verify that the casino's  insurance carrier is accepting liability before incurring huge medical bills.  If the casino is accepting liability, your mother can get all the necessary medical treatment that she needs for this injury.  When she completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated, she should obtain her medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your mother's personal injury claim filed with the casino's  insurance carrier should include the medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your mother's injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If your mother is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the casino's insurance carrier, your mother should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the casino.  If the case is settled with the casino's  insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier, your mother will need to file her lawsuit for negligence against the casino prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.  If this is an Indian tribe's casino, the Indian tribes have their own rules regarding filing deadlines and your mother needs to comply with those filing deadlines; otherwise, her claim will be denied. 


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