Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

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State Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of $1.2 million Bellagio slip-and-fall case

The Nevada Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a Florida woman who initially won a $1.2 million judgment against the Bellagio related to a slip-and-fall case.

Melinda Van Doren, a police officer from Eustis, Fla., was visiting Las Vegas in July 2005 when she fell on a set of outdoor stairs at the hotel-casino. She said the stairs were wet and slippery.

A first jury awarded Van Doren $1.2 million but incorrectly determined comparative fault damages. Former District Judge Jackie Glass ordered a second trial. The Bellagio won the jury verdict at the second trial.

The new trial was ordered in August 2008.

The Supreme Court said Van Doren waited almost two years before filing an appeal, which was required within 30 days. "Accordingly, this court lacks jurisdiction to consider the district court's order granting a new trial."

As a result, the court said it cannot consider the other issues raised by Van Doren at the second trial.

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  1. So happy to see this. When you are outside and it rains it gets slippery then you need to be a bit more careful. When someone sues because they fell on a property outside I think it shouldn't even be heard unless it is flat out negligence like leaving a hole in the sidewalk or something like that.

  2. I agree with Larry. This case never should have gone anywhere in the first place. Instead all of use pay increased insurance fees because companies have to go to court on crap like this.

  3. That case should have never been in court...

  4. I know a Casino where a Patron fell on a Wet Marble Floor at the Buffet. I guess it was her fault she fell and shattered her knee, she should never have been at a Buffet.

    We all know it get slippery outside if it rains, however a little intelligence in creating Building Codes or not coddling Casinos when they are indifferent to Customer safety (remember the Casino Fires) will go a long ways to preventing unnecessary accidents and preventing lawsuits.

  5. "I know a Casino where a Patron fell on a Wet Marble Floor at the Buffet. I guess it was her fault she fell and shattered her knee, she should never have been at a Buffet"

    Please explain why this patron should not have been at the buffet?? And why was it her fault anyway? Normally, any spills are cleaned up immediately at buffets so someone does not get hurt.

  6. This happened to a friend of mine who was visiting. They were staying at the Mirage. We had gone back to the hotel and one of my friends slipped and fell on the wet marble floor by check-in. You could NOT see the wetness against the marble floor. To make a long story short, we had to find someone to report the wet floor and the fall, which took aboiut 20 minutes; finally someone came and started asking questions. No one seemed to care that she fell and that now her knee was 20X it's normal size. The hotel employee had this form for my friend to fill out and said, laughingly, you need a lawyer to understand, at which point my friends and I all said at the same time "we all work for lawyers" and at that point - things rapidly changed. We had a gaggle of hotel people surrounding us, including security. My friend didn't want to make a big deal out of it so the whole incident just went away. I felt they should have at least offered a free buffet for her pain and suffering!

  7. Maybe Bellagio is at fault, maybe not.

    My question would be why you waited 2 years to file an appeal on $1.2 million when you had 30 days to appeal. Did she walk away and then suddenly two years later decide to fight on or did her lawyer screw up?

    If my council forgot to file an appeal and cost me $1.2 million... there would be trouble.

  8. Not fair. If someone gets injured on State or Federal property, there's little to no recourse except for gross negligence. If you get hurt in any way on private property, well then all bets are off, sue sue sue because...of course...it's always someone else's fault. Out tort system is the worlds worst.