ECKO in the News: DUI Liability Case Against Wendover Casinos Moves Forward
“(KUTV) – A lawsuit that accuses the Peppermill Casino in West Wendover, NV of overserving alcohol to a man who later killed three members of a Utah family in a crash on I-80 will move forward after a judge threw out the casino’s motion to dismiss the case.
Tooele Judge Robert Adkins compiled an approximately 40-page response to the Peppermill’s motion to dismiss and said, in part, that the Wendover casinos rely on Utahns for their livelihood but want no responsibility for what happens after patrons leave their casinos that are located feet from the Utah border.
“The battle is not over, but this is a significant step in the right direction,” said Eric Olson who represents the plaintiff Jose Adame.
Three members of Adame’s family died in the July 2014 crash about 30 miles east of the Utah/Nevada border.
Adame was unresponsive in the hospital for a week. When he woke up, hospital staff told him about the crash and informed him that his wife, daughter, and step-daughter were all killed.
Olson and Adame filed the lawsuit earlier this year and named the driver who hit the family, Paul Mumford, 39, of West Jordan and the Peppermill Casino as defendants in the case.
Olson argued that because the casinos advertise primarily in Utah and rely heavily on Utahns for their business, Utah’s law that can hold an establishment liable for damages caused by someone who is overserved alcohol should be applied. Nevada does not have a similar law and the Peppermill casino argued that Utah law has no jurisdiction over Nevada casinos.
“The judge ruled that’s not correct, so we can proceed with the case, prove our case, and hopefully win compensation for our client,” Olson said. “It’s not fair for them to be able to do whatever they want and overserve.”
The case will enter a discovery phase where both sides can collect and analyze evidence. The case may end in a settlement or could possibly have to be decided by a jury.
“Hopefully the ruling will be passed on to the casinos in Wendover and they will be more careful about their practices for serving alcohol,” Olson said.”