The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Photo: Gabriela Pinto
Connecticut | Litigation

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation accused of negligence for death at casino



The casino owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is the target of a lawsuit after patron died there in October 2016.

Alonzo Depina, 22, fell from a hotel balcony at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. His family is accusing staff of negligence because they allowed access to the balcony, which was otherwise kept locked.

“We are claiming negligence because he got the key to the balcony from hotel staff. The balcony has a railing and ledge that make access to it very easy,” attorney James Harrington told The Connecticut Law Tribune.

Harrington was the attorney behind the Lewis v. Clarke case that was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in April. By a unanimous vote, the justices held that a tribe's sovereign immunity does not extend to tribal employees.

In the case, an employee of the Mohegan Tribe was sued in Connecticut court after being involved in a vehicle accident. The tribe itself was removed from the lawsuit due to concerns about sovereign immunity.

Harrington's case against Foxwoods was filed in Mashantucket court, according to The Connecticut Law Tribune and The New London Day.

Read More on the Story:
Family of Man Who Died in Fall From Hotel Balcony Sues for Negligence (The Connecticut Law Tribune November 8, 2017)
Attorney: Falls at Foxwoods may be underreported (The New London Day November 3, 2017)

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Supreme Court hands defeat to tribal interests in sovereignty case (April 25, 2017)