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Old 05-17-2020, 12:16 PM   #1
Gzesh
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Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

What is an asymptomatic tourist's liability, or a casino's liability, where someone decides NOT to wear a mask in a casino and is traced back to as a source of CoVid 19 infection that eventually kills someone else ?

Folks saw the way the re-opened casinos in Arizona were packed this past weekend ?

Personally, I am not happy about the risk of infected asymptomatic tourists flooding into town, but I understand the economics. (I do not live anywhere near the Strip, but I am certain I have neighbors who work on the Strip. )

It seems clear to my eye that folks here in Las Vegas are already shunning wearing masks in public. I was at Walmart yesterday and estimated from observation about 33% of the shoppers wore masks. That was down from 60 -75 % last week. Among the 33%, almost all were older folks or families with small kids.

This does not bode well for public health in Clark County. A flood of tourists, looking to bust loose from restrictions, is not going to wear masks or practice social distancing. It will be human nature to try and return to group rowdiness, no masks, no social distancing, etc .....Even the Nevada Gaming rules for reopening will be a challenge to enforce in practice.

The term "Mask It or Casket" has a real basis.
One asymptomatic infected person can wreak a lot of infections during a trip to a hotel/casino, shedding virus with every close encounter. The casket likely would not be that asymptomatic person's, but I think tracing back to a source could form the basis for litigation over "negligent homicide" if surveillance shows someone traced as infected NOT wearing a mask where required by a duty of care, by rule or guidance.

(Casino surveillance will be recording EVERYONE on the floor, as has been past practice, pre-virus. Any casino that "leaves it up to guests whether to wear a mask is foolishly shirking "best practice" and courting involving liability. Unless there is some legislation on the books protecting casinos, their deep pockets are on the line.)

Nevada has a lot of personal injury lawyers and casinos likely will require masks, facing liability for not doing so, especially where social distancing requirements are breached. There are already legal seminars on bringing CoVid-related tort cases.

Last edited by Gzesh; 05-17-2020 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:40 PM   #2
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

If you are going to a casino right now you cannot expect to have a reasonable degree of safety from COVID-19.

I think ordering take out from a restaurant is different, where there’s an expectation that safety protocols are being followed, but the moment you begin interacting with the general public all bets are off.

We’re in new territory here but that seems the most reasonable approach. Use the casino at your own risk; assume everyone you come into contact with is infected and act accordingly.


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Old 05-17-2020, 12:53 PM   #3
AngusThermopyle
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

Good luck to Mr X (or his heirs) proving that Mr Y was the one who infected him.
Contact tracing is hard enough.
But on a Las Vegas trip?
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:20 PM   #4
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by AngusThermopyle View Post
Good luck to Mr X (or his heirs) proving that Mr Y was the one who infected him.
Contact tracing is hard enough.
But on a Las Vegas trip?
You are arguing proof of causation. I expect good contact tracing will be admissible evidence. Take the casino example ....

Casino surveillance is a pretty good tool, one I expect would be useful in contact tracing ... besides the public health goal is to require casinos, out of fear for their own liability, to require masks of both Mr Y and, if he was on property, also Mr X. (If Mr. X never went to the casino, maybe he is married to someone who works there and picks up an infection from a non-masked Mr, Y who coughs on her. )

The risks "assumed" by visiting a casino likely may not eliminate a duty of care by Mr. Y or Casino A. Can a casino admit a symptomatic visitor, they plan screening for them at the door ?

Screening implicitly has told Mr. X the casino is trying to protect him against symptomatic persons being on the floor, because of the risk to him, Mr. X.

I think a casino maybe has a duty of care to all the "screened" patrons, meaning X and Y, to require further protection once inside, i.e. wearing a mask. There is a fair inference that masks required of casino workers should also be required of all patrons.

If casino security does not require X and Y to both wear masks, and say Y later develops symptoms, showing him cavorting around the casino non-masked ,would open a world of liability for every Mr. X who, masked on property, develops CoVid after being in proximity to Mr. Y.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:42 PM   #5
BrianTheMick2
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

"As a non-lawyer, my opinion on these matters is approximately as useful as a bucket of chilled urine," is what everyone should probably be thinking as they determine what to type.

They should probably be thinking the same sort of thing while reading the opinions of others as well.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

What if they get non covid ? Liable for everything ?
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:07 PM   #7
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
"As a non-lawyer, my opinion on these matters is approximately as useful as a bucket of chilled urine," is what everyone should probably be thinking as they determine what to type.

They should probably be thinking the same sort of thing while reading the opinions of others as well.
Personally, I think my posts are worth at least a bucket of warm piss. I've practiced gaming law for over 25 years in Nevada although I do not practice personal injury law or tort law generally. Nothing I post here constitutes legal opinion or advice and y'all are not clients of mine just by reading the forum posts.

I'm just looking for a reasoned discussion of what the consequences should be if someone decides to either not wear a mask in public, indoors or stay in close proximity to someone and whether a casino really should have and enforce both mask and social distance requirements in the interest of public health in Nevada.

I am realistic in that I do NOT expect tourists flocking to Las Vegas to diligently practice social distancing inside a casino or to wear masks unless required. They will be coming here to escape, not be responsible.

I think the pre-entry screening of patrons for symptoms sets a duty on the part of casinos to also continue to protect patrons against unwarranted exposure to this virus. Having and enforcing mask policies would be in line with the expected policy of requiring staff to be masked.

I would like to see every casino entrance have a big sign saying, "WEAR A DAMNED MASK" and deny access to non-masked visitors as a matter of public health policy to protect Nevadans, because what happens here might otherwise stay here.

Social distancing should be required as well, as "6 Feet Apart Beats 6 Feet Under".

Last edited by Gzesh; 05-17-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by prototypepariah View Post
What if they get non covid ? Liable for everything ?
You mean like food poisoning, getting hit by a falling object tossed from a balcony, falling on spilled liquid not cleaned up, assault by a white tiger, theft from the hotel safe deposit facility, a traffic accident caused by negligence of the hotel or its staff, serving alcohol to a minor on the premises , etc ?

Basically the regular rules of premises and tort liability have not been tossed out to my knowledge.

Would you grant an automatic pass to casinos for any injury they may cause in violation of a duty to their patrons ? What if they knowingly or only grossly negligently let Mike Postle cheat at poker ?
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:40 PM   #9
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

Anyone who is not meticulously self-quarantining for the next several months just needs to accept that they are probably going to get the virus. Medical experts expect that 60-70% of the population are going to be infected. So I don’t really see how any individual can hold another individual liable for transmission, whether either party is wearing a mask or not.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:28 PM   #10
BruhKGB
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

My guess is most places will probably have a sign right outside/inside each entrance with the "You assume all responsibility by entering and we aren't responsible if you get sick..."-type disclaimer and that'll be the extent of it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

Casinos can probably claim that, at least during the immediate future time frame, visitors assumed the risk of contracting covid. I’m a lawyer, retired, and know nothing about Nevada tort law, and have no desire to research it, so take that for what it’s worth.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:24 PM   #12
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

How are you going to prove that a person caught CV from a specific person?
Is the science able to be to the required evidential standard?
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:31 PM   #13
BrianTheMick2
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
Personally, I think my posts are worth at least a bucket of warm piss. I've practiced gaming law for over 25 years in Nevada although I do not practice personal injury law or tort law generally. Nothing I post here constitutes legal opinion or advice and y'all are not clients of mine just by reading the forum posts.
I'm sure you've at least taken a class or two.

Quote:
I'm just looking for a reasoned discussion of what the consequences should be if someone decides to either not wear a mask in public, indoors or stay in close proximity to someone and whether a casino really should have and enforce both mask and social distance requirements in the interest of public health in Nevada.
Ah, so you were looking for something almost, but not quite entirely different than what the thread implied.

Quote:
I am realistic in that I do NOT expect tourists flocking to Las Vegas to diligently practice social distancing inside a casino or to wear masks unless required. They will be coming here to escape, not be responsible.
With no enforecment these would be mere suggestions.

Quote:
I think the pre-entry screening of patrons for symptoms sets a duty on the part of casinos to also continue to protect patrons against unwarranted exposure to this virus. Having and enforcing mask policies would be in line with the expected policy of requiring staff to be masked.

I would like to see every casino entrance have a big sign saying, "WEAR A DAMNED MASK" and deny access to non-masked visitors as a matter of public health policy to protect Nevadans, because what happens here might otherwise stay here.

Social distancing should be required as well, as "6 Feet Apart Beats 6 Feet Under".
You should try to get involved in whatever policy meetings are being held about reopening the casinos. For some reason, I feel the need to say that I mean that in a non-sarcastic manner.

I don't think just putting up signs would do ****, fwiw. Either you enforce rules or you don't.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

Masks should be mandated - anyone refusing to comply in public should be charged with reckless endangerment. One could argue that 'stand your ground' should apply towards those approaching within 6 feet without a mask.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:21 PM   #15
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
What is an asymptomatic tourist's liability, or a casino's liability, where someone decides NOT to wear a mask in a casino and is traced back to as a source of CoVid 19 infection that eventually kills someone else ?.(
According to out labor attorney and all the legal opinions being discussed in her world:

Zero Liability at this time. Any cases brought are already planned to be appealed to the Supreme Court was what she told us...
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:46 PM   #16
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by etothemc2 View Post
Masks should be mandated - anyone refusing to comply in public should be charged with reckless endangerment. One could argue that 'stand your ground' should apply towards those approaching within 6 feet without a mask.

nationwide? by state? until when ? the officials that told you not to wear a mark in march?

xenophobia is going to be a very real dangerous thing this summer.

If one is genuinely fearful, it's very easy to seclude and be safe. For everyone else..let them eat cake and cough.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:55 PM   #17
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by Trixie2 View Post
According to out labor attorney and all the legal opinions being discussed in her world:

Zero Liability at this time. Any cases brought are already planned to be appealed to the Supreme Court was what she told us...
"You" are a Nevada gaming operator ?

I'd be interested in what the legal opinions being discussed in her world have to say. "At this time" is quite a qualifier. I provide legal opinions but think a "Zero" Liability" opinion is a stretch unless "at this time" means (a) while everything is closed or (b) there is no Covid-specific caselaw as yet, or (c) there is some statute on the books I've not researched as yet. I would like to see if someone has such a reference available.

Of course any case that the casino LOSES at trial would be appealed to a higher court.. Same for some case where a plaintiff loses on a question of law or the level of causation shown.

However, the possibly* better business practice would be to require masks and enforce that, aside from eating or drinking. (* I say possibly better because there is always a trade-off between the requirement of X and its effect on the bottom line. I'm not sure whether the best practice might not be to "offer" a mask to anyone who comes in, instead of requiring wearing one of everyone. That way, at least potential plaintiffs were offered protection of some measure.)
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:01 PM   #18
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by NickMPK View Post
Anyone who is not meticulously self-quarantining for the next several months just needs to accept that they are probably going to get the virus. Medical experts expect that 60-70% of the population are going to be infected. So I don’t really see how any individual can hold another individual liable for transmission, whether either party is wearing a mask or not.
As tempting as it may be to go Socratic method on this, suffice it to say there are many horrible fact patterns that could and would undercut your perception, starting with a no-masked millennial turning and coughing in the face of masked old man coffee sitting at a poker table in a casino where masks are required.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:15 PM   #19
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
I'm sure you've at least taken a class or two.



You should try to get involved in whatever policy meetings are being held about reopening the casinos. For some reason, I feel the need to say that I mean that in a non-sarcastic manner.

I don't think just putting up signs would do ****, fwiw. Either you enforce rules or you don't.
Yeah, I've taken a class or two, might do a Continuing Legal Education class on this topic as Nevada lawyers need 13 hours per year of CLE and the topic seems interesting. (If I take one soon enough, I'll post the discussion points in this thread, since I raised the topic here. )

Similarly, if the Gaming Board holds a public online workshop on the topic, and I see the email with enough notice, I might log in and see what transpires.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:32 PM   #20
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
As tempting as it may be to go Socratic method on this, suffice it to say there are many horrible fact patterns that could and would undercut your perception, starting with a no-masked millennial turning and coughing in the face of masked old man coffee sitting at a poker table in a casino where masks are required.
What difference does the mask make in this scenario? It's only reduces transmission (and by some estimates not that much). So if he coughs in his face with a mask on, is he then not liable?

Also, to proceed I assume you would have to prove that the maskless millenial was infectious at the time of the cough. That's non-trivial.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:49 PM   #21
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by NickMPK View Post
Anyone who is not meticulously self-quarantining for the next several months just needs to accept that they are probably going to get the virus. Medical experts expect that 60-70% of the population are going to be infected.
And they've been right about all their other predictions, right?

I really wish I could find a sports tout so consistently wrong, so I could bet on the other side.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:56 PM   #22
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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And they've been right about all their other predictions, right?

I really wish I could find a sports tout so consistently wrong, so I could bet on the other side.
lol, in the early 1970s, I worked in a warehouse near Maxwell Street in Chicago. One of the older guys used to let me pick whatever NFL teams I wanted on Sunday mornings. I did not pick a single winner in three seasons. (I'm probably your guy, but I retired from handicapping after that experience.)
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:00 PM   #23
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

this is already pretty darn difficult to prove with lawsuits involving stds, and in that case the pool of possible transmission partners is extremely limited.

to try and identify a single person that caused the transmission among the thousands of people in proximity over the course of a week in a crowded city would be no chance at all.

even if you could identify "a" person that was sick that coughed directly in your face - that doesn't prove that you didn't already contract it earlier that day from a different dude breathing normally in the same elevator as you who never even knew he had it and never showed symptoms and never got tested.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:01 PM   #24
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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Originally Posted by Melkerson View Post
What difference does the mask make in this scenario? It's only reduces transmission (and by some estimates not that much). So if he coughs in his face with a mask on, is he then not liable?

Also, to proceed I assume you would have to prove that the maskless millenial was infectious at the time of the cough. That's non-trivial.
Okay, he dies 10 days later from CoVid ? He gets tested on his job 10 days later and is positive ? .... not trivial, but not impossible by any means.

That is what tracing and sentinel testing help establish ....

I think it may become less challenging if the casino has breached a duty of care by letting him sit in the game without a mask, and perhaps, in violation of its liability insurer's rules ?
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:05 PM   #25
Gzesh
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Re: Mask It or Casket, liability for tourist gross negligence ?

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this is already pretty darn difficult to prove with lawsuits involving stds, and in that case the pool of possible transmission partners is extremely limited.

to try and identify a single person that caused the transmission among the thousands of people in proximity over the course of a week in a crowded city would be no chance at all.

even if you could identify "a" person that was sick that coughed directly in your face - that doesn't prove that you didn't already contract it earlier that day from a different dude breathing normally in the same elevator as you who never even knew he had it and never showed symptoms and never got tested.
That's what motions for summary judgement are for .... I do not see this cause of action against a gaming operator summarily barred as a matter of law ... unless there is some specific statute doing so.

If there is a general duty of care, what you raise are questions of fact to be proven. Substitute some other infectious disease in the hypothetical. Is there case law or statute somewhat applicable ? See, NAC Chapter 441A (Infectious Diseases)

Why should an operator allow a poor fact pattern to evolve by NOT requiring masks
, even if it makes a calculation that prospective patrons would go to a mask-less competitor or simply not show up .... at a loss of revenue > the cost of settling CoVid-related patron litigation.

Last edited by Gzesh; 05-17-2020 at 10:16 PM.
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