A tourist filed suit against a casino alleging that the casino failed to maintain adequate security, ultimately resulting in his severe beating. Casinos, like all businesses, are required to keep their premises free from reasonably anticipated or known dangerous conditions.
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In this case, the plaintiffs were an elderly couple on vacation from Hawaii. They were gambling late at night when the husband, the victim, went to the bathroom before the couple was going to pack for their flight to Hawaii. While the victim was in the bathroom, he was attacked from behind by a homeless person. He was severely beaten, and the attacker stole his fanny pack.
The police later apprehended a 21-year old suspect. The victim suffered extensive injuries and was kept in intensive care for several days. He survived the assault; however, the victim continues to experience cognitive issues, including memory loss and panic attacks.
All businesses that are open to the public are required to keep their premises secure from dangerous conditions. However, businesses are only required to secure their business against known and reasonably discoverable dangerous conditions.
For example, grocery stores are required to keep their aisles clear of debris and spilled liquids. However, if a patron slips on milk that was spilled mere moments before, then the grocery store is not liable because it did not know about the dangerous condition, and there was insufficient time for it to reasonably discover the dangerous condition.
Casinos are required to keep their guests safe from reasonably anticipated dangerous conditions and known dangerous conditions. For example, casinos tend to attract dangerous or unstable individuals because of the confluence of alcohol and cash. Casinos are therefore required to adopt necessary security to screen potentially dangerous people and remove them before they injure a guest or employee.
In this case, the plaintiffs argue that the casino failed to provide adequate security to the bathroom, and screen the guests and identify potential threats. However, it is unclear if casinos are under an obligation to provide more active security. The casino argues that there were security cameras in the hallway. The plaintiffs believe that more guards would have prevented the incident. It is unclear if the plaintiffs’ position is tenable, as most businesses are not required to anticipate and prevent the intentional acts of other persons.