Comedian George Wallace was performing at a show on the Las Vegas Strip in 2007 when he got his leg tangled in wiring on stage. The cables should have been better secured, but weren’t. As a result, the comedian suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The comedian’s injuries caused significant pain and suffering and interfered with his ability to tour and earn income. Like many victims of injuries, he filed a lawsuit against those who he believed were responsible for harming him. According to Reuters, the jury found for Wallace and awarded him a $1.3 million judgment against the casino.
Lawsuit Provides Compensation for Injuries, Loss of Income
Casinos, like other property owners, have certain obligations. They are required to provide a safe environment and take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of injury. Because the cables were not properly secured, this created a hazardous situation that directly led to the comedian’s accident.
Victims injured by negligence are entitled to recover compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other damages. In the Wallace case, the jury awarded $100,000 for the pain the comedian endured and $8,500 in medical costs to treat the ruptured tendon. The bulk of the verdict was for the $1.2 million in lost income that the comedian had experienced.
Wallace initially sought at least $7.1 million in compensation from the casino, claiming that his injuries were permanent and that he would have a limp for the remainder of his life. However, his attorney acknowledged that he respects the decision made by the jury.
Attorneys for Bellagio, the casino where the incident occurred, argued that their employees were not responsible for the injuries that the comedian sustained. Following the verdict, a spokesperson said that Bellagio was reviewing the verdict and considering available legal options.
Bellagio (and/or its insurance company) will be required to pay the damage award even though it was individual employees who may have failed to secure the cables that led to the injury. The casino itself is responsible because employees who are on the job are considered agents of their employer. If an employee is negligent, the company that employs him or her can be sued by victims after an accident occurs.
It is important for victims to understand their rights and pursue a damage claim after they are harmed. While the famous comedian had a very large lost income award because of the nature of his job, anyone who gets hurt can experience significant damages when injuries require extensive medical attention or cause permanent impairment.
If you’ve been injured on the job in Las Vegas, an experienced attorney can help pursue a claim for damages. Contact Hofland & Tomsheck to learn more.