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February 1, 2015

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Court rules Sunset Station open to liability for car theft in valet parking

Map of Sunset Station Hotel Casino

Sunset Station Hotel Casino

1301 W. Sunset Road, Henderson

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that a man whose car was stolen from Sunset Station's valet parking area can sue the hotel-casino for damages, even though he got an insurance settlement.

The court said the law doesn't shield the company from liability.

In 2006, Marcos Arguello drove his vehicle to the casino, gave his keys to a valet attendant and received a claim ticket. A few hours later he sought to retrieve his vehicle from the valet parking lot, but it had been stolen.

The vehicle was found stripped the following day in Clark County. Arguello received a $20,434 settlement from Farmers Insurance, but he filed suit in district court seeking damages of more than $10,000 from Sunset Station for the loss of use of his vehicle and the added cost of restoring his car.

District Judge Timothy C. Williams entered a summary judgment in favor of Sunset Station, but the Supreme Court ruled the hotel wasn't shielded from liability.

The Supreme Court said Arguello can sue Sunset Station for the full amount of his loss. If the courts order Sunset to pay the full amount of the loss, Farmers might be able to recover the money paid to Arguello.

The court said, “We hold that based upon the plain language of the statute, (the law) does not shield a hotel from civil liability arising from the theft of or damage to a guest’s motor vehicle.”

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  1. Sounds reasonable to me. If you give your keys and car to a valet to park, the casino has taken possession of your vehicle and has an obligation to return it to you in the same condition as they received it. If it's stolen, the casino then has the obligation to pay for it and any reasonable costs that go along with it. That's why you shouldn't use valet parking. Because the places don't want to accept responsibility even though they have the keys and vehicle.

  2. Once he receives money from Stations, Farmers is going to have their hand out asking for the Insurance money back.

    No double dipping is going to be allowed. Best save some of that money to cover the refund.

  3. So why didn't his insurance sue Stations to recover their loss?

  4. A good reason I always self park. The keys are in my pocket. Also no need to wait sometimes over 30 minutes for someone to go get your car when it gets busy at the valet.
    Does this law also apply to loss of belongings inside the vehicle while in the valet?
    Was that Porsche stolen from the Red Rock last year in the valet lot?