Desai v. Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise
A "dangerous condition" is defined as a "physical aspect of [the casino] which constitutes an unreasonable risk to human health or safety . . . which condition is proximately caused by the negligent acts or omissions of the Gaming Enterprise." On Dec. 29, 2009, the plaintiff, Kishor Desai, went to Foxwoods Casino to play poker and walked cautiously on the walkways, which had been shoveled after it snowed earlier in the day and then stopped snowing. Later that day, when he exited the casino, Desai walked out the door, stopped onto the sidewalk and talked to another customer. When he finished talking to the other customer, his feet slipped from under him as he turned, and he fell on the ground. Desai admitted that he was not wearing boots or snow-appropriate footwear and that he was not looking at the ground. Desai went to the hospital the following day, and X-rays showed that he had bruised his ribs. Desai's medical expenses were $5,235, and he sued. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court found that the defendant, the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise, owed the plaintiff the duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. The court found that the defendant knew conditions were icy, and it only removed snow and ice from part of the walkways, permitting a dangerous condition to exist on the remaining portion. "[T]he Defendant," wrote the court, "failed to protect the Plaintiff from a dangerous condition." The court found that the plaintiff was 25 percent contributorily negligent, because he did not wear snow-appropriate footwear or look at the ground as he walked. The court awarded the plaintiff medical expenses of $5,235, plus $2,500 for pain and suffering, or $7,735, which the court reduced 25 percent to $5,801, as a result of the plaintiff's contributory negligence.