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Hard Rock in Hard Trouble. 2005-08-04
The Nevada Supreme Court last Tuesday reinstated a suit against the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. The suit was made by a woman who claimed she was injured in the parking lot during an attempted burglary at the hotel. The court said the "Hard Rock owed Barbara Galaro money, because it failed to keep her safe on their property.
The court claimed every premised has a duty to use safe care, and condition. Hard Rock did not if someone was injured on their site, occurring from an attempted burglary. Galaro was injured at the site.
District Judge Jackie Glass granted a pre-trial summary judgment in favor of the hotel, because he believed that Galaro did not prove her case. Galaro failed to document this incident, making it harder to claim. Instead, she filled suit years later.
Galaro and her friend Jessica Hardy drove from Colorado at night on Sept. 19, 1997, and parked in the hotel's parking lot. They registered in the hotel and upon returning to their car to get their luggage; they found it has been broken into. Galaro tried to stop the man herself. She tried to stop him from stealing a band radio, but instead suffered hand and wrist injuries from it.
Galaro filed suit in District Court in 1999, complaining it was because of the hotel this happened to her. She complained that the parking lot lighting was poor, as well as the surveillance cameras and the security at hotel. These were her explanations for the break in, and her injury.
The Supreme Court said the case should go to trial to permit Galaro to present any evidence she still has. Her evidence starts with the fact that there were 39 crimes committed in that parking lot in the two years prior to her injuries, and there were 200 incidents in the area of the hotel-casino. The court is not buying her case about years previous to, and years after the fact.
The court said, that this are generates crime. That is not known, but how Hard Rock contributed is the issue they are looking for. Normally here, it is generally up to a jury to decide whether there has been a breach of duty.
However, the court said there are facts to be presented and to be decided by a jury. The record indicates that even though there were surveillance cameras in the parking lot, no cameras were directed at Galaro's vehicle at the time of the incident, so that might prove in her favor. As far as the other claims of lighting, and security, they are also issues to be brought up.
Galaro maintains there was only one bicycle guard covering the entire parking lot, that night. She also has a deposition from a security guard who said there were five or six vehicle break-ins each month on the property. Attorneys for Hard Rock are trying to get that evidence thrown out.
Attorneys for the Hard Rock said some of this evidence should be rejected because it was presented after Judge Glass ruled already. The Supreme Court said some of the additional facts were late, fault of Hard Rocks producing of the incident report. The final decision was signed by Justices Bob Rose, Mark Gibbons and James Hardesty.
(By Andrea)