SW Legal studies in Business

Casino Not Responsible for Suicide by Patron
Description

Tribal court held that the employees of a casino did not act improperly in the way security personnel handled the peculiar behavior of a patron who later committed suicide. The personnel had no way of knowing of his actions and did not contribute to the likelihood of his death.

Topic Torts
Key Words

Wrongful Death; Proximate Cause; Suicide; Tribal Court

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Scanlon was a patron of a casino owned by Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise. A casino employee watching surveillance cameras saw Scanlon standing on a box on a balcony. Concerned about his safety, two security guards went to investigate. Scanlon told them he was fine, that another person had been thinking about committing suicide and that he had talked him out of it. The guards walked with Scanlon out of that area and returned with him to the main mall area of the casino. After a while, they parted. Scanlon apparently went back up to where he had been and jumped, killing himself. His heirs sued the casino for wrongful death for not having taken steps to stop the suicide.

Decision

Case dismissed. Acts by the casino's employees were not the proximate cause of Scanlon's death. The security personnel acted properly under the circumstances; they did not believe he was going to kill himself. The fact that the casino did not remove the box from the balcony did not contribute to the death.

Citation Scanlon v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise, 2009 WL 4188488 (Mash. Pequot Tribal Ct., 2009)

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