Lawsuit In Fatal New Jersey Crash Accuses Tropicana Casino of Negligence

By Greg Kohn

Can a business be held liable for accidents involving intoxicated patrons it ejected from its premises?

The mother of an infant killed in an automobile accident is seeking to hold the Tropicana casino responsible. The crash involved just one vehicle, which struck a guardrail, killing two of its occupants, one of whom was the 4-year old child of Shaina Davis-Holder.

In a lawsuit filed in a New Jersey court, Ms. Davis-Holder maintains that the crash would never have occurred had the Tropicana not thrown her child and others out of the casino at 5:30AM. The suit alleges recklessness, gross negligence and racial discrimination.

According to court papers, the group of six people were on vacation, staying in a hotel room already paid for, and were not due to check out until the next day. Five of the guests ranged in age from 18 to 45, and they were supervising the sixth, the 4-year-old toddler.

Because two members of group were said to be intoxicated, the casino forced all six to leave, according to the plaintiff. The casino allegedly suspected that members of the group under age 21 were gambling, though the plaintiff’s attorney denies this. Three minors may have been served alcohol according to documents, though the plaintiff’s counsel says the evidence is inconclusive.

The suit maintains that the relevant fact is that the casino forced all six to leave.  At 7AM, their Ford pick-up truck hit a guardrail. Three of the passengers were in the truck bed, and the two fatally injured passengers were in the front seat. The driver of the vehicle faces multiple charges, including assault by auto, causing death while under the influence, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The plaintiff seeks to holds the Tropicana liable for setting the chain of events in motion by forcing the party to leave. She is seeking more than $30 million for the estate of her child and for the other victims.

Tragic accidents often have multiple causes. Many factors may play a contributing role and more than one party may be legally and financially accountable. If you or a family member has been harmed, expert legal counsel can help you determine whom you can hold responsible for the compensation to which you are entitled.

The New Jersey law firm of Nagel Rice, LLP has successfully handled a wide variety of personal injury cases, as well as product liability and malpractice cases. For a consultation, contact 973-618-0400.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.