Posted by: GuestBlogCommunity on Aug 31, 2012
In August 2009, 30-year-old Bryan Lee Glenn visited the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi. He died that night in his hotel room after taking potent prescription painkillers. His family filed a lawsuit against the casino, claiming that casino workers continued to supply Glenn with free alcoholic drinks despite his family’s requests that they stop serving him.
The lawsuit against the casino was filed on Wednesday, July 25 in the U.S. District Court in Gulfport. The family is seeking damages of $75 million.
Glenn on Powerful Painkillers
According to the lawsuit, Glenn had suffered a traumatic brain injury 2004 and back injuries in 2007. He was being treated for these injuries as well as hallucinations and psychosis. He had recently attempted suicide. The night of his death, Glenn had taken powerful painkillers that included Percocet, Xanax and morphine. While at the casino resort with his family, Glenn began ordering two drinks at a time and betting $1,000 at a time on blackjack. According to his family, Glenn was falling-down-drunk but casino staff refused to intervene despite their requests that the staff stop serving Glenn.
Glenn’s family attempted to get him to leave on several occasions, but Glenn refused and became agitated. Once they had finally persuaded him to leave, a dealer observed that Glenn still had chips and coaxed him back to the blackjack table.
Glenn then went to a casino bar to continue drinking. His family again requested that the bartender stop serving him. His family eventually left him at the bar while they took another member of their family home. When they returned to the bar, they were informed that Glenn had been escorted out of the bar by security.
Glenn’s mother, brother and a friend went up to Glenn’s hotel room, where they discovered him on the floor of the bathroom. Despite their attempts to revive him, Glenn died at the scene. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming that the casino continued to serve Glenn alcoholic beverages despite the fact that he was visibly intoxicated.
A casino spokeswoman declined to comment due to the pending lawsuit. The casino has not yet responded to the lawsuit.
Potential Casino Liability under Dram Shop Act
Under Mississippi’s Dram Shop Act, a business is immune from liability if it lawfully provides alcoholic beverages to a person, even if they go on to cause injury to themselves or others. However, the statute makes an exception for businesses that provide alcoholic beverages to a person who is visibly intoxicated.
In 2011, the Mississippi Supreme Court found a casino to be liable for serving alcohol to a man who later drove his car and killed two people. One night during the summer of 2002, Rodney Dean of Memphis, Tennessee had been gambling and drinking at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. According to testimony during the trial, Dean was served approximately two to three beers per hour over the course of 16 hours while gambling at the casino. Eyewitnesses testified that Dean had been driving his car faster than 90 miles per hour. He crashed his vehicle into another car, killing three people. His blood alcohol level was .16, twice Mississippi’s legal limit.
The families of the people killed in the incident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dean and the casino. The casino employees testified that Dean had not been visibly intoxicated when they served him alcoholic beverages. Upon review of the case, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that the plaintiffs had presented sufficient evidence to show Dean was visibly intoxicated and held that the casino was jointly liable for damages in the wrongful death lawsuit.
This article was written on behalf of The San Mateo DUI Law Offices who specialize in alcohol related incidents.