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Jury Finds Harrah’s Blackjack Casino Liable for 2002 Biker Brawl Injuries

Nov 5, 2010

Harrah's Laughlan
Harrah’s Laughlan

Harrah’s Laughlin is a casino and hotel that sits on the banks of the Colorado River in the southern tip of the US state of Nevada. It is one of many such casinos that Harrah’s operates in the United States.

On April 28, 2002, the casino was witness to a deadly fight among rival motorcycle gangs. In the early hours of the morning, bikers from Hell’s Angels and Mongols stormed into the casino, and in a severe breach of casino etiquette began battling with guns and knives across the game floor. Three people were killed and many more injured, including several casino goers who happened to be in the way.

Now nearly a decade later, some of the casino players who were injured can finally relax, because a jury decided on November 3 that Harrah’s Laughlin is liable for injuries sustained by bystanders. Casino officials are being accused of not taking adequate action when they saw trouble coming.

Plaintifs include Michael Bower who suffered a back injury as he dove to the floor amidst crossfire between the Hell’s Angels and Mongols, along with Andrea and Dean Daniels who were enjoying a blackjack card game when they had to take to the floor for their own safety.

This is not the first federal lawsuit related to this brawl. Five others have been fought over the years, and each time, Harrah’s won. The casino empire and their lawyers are obviously not happy with the ruling, and intend to appeal on the grounds that even with more security, the incident wasn’t preventable.

It has not yet been decided how much the USA blackjack casino will have to pay in damages. That part of the trial begins today.

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