Choctaw Nation owns and operates the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. Photo: Choctaw Casinos & Resorts

Choctaw Nation weighs options after being held liable for deaths of casino patrons

The Choctaw Nation is weighing its next move after being held responsible for the deaths of two casino patrons, The Oklahoman reports.

The patrons were headed to the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, when their charter bus ran off the highway in April 2013. Though the tribe did not operate the vehicle in question, an appeals court in neighboring Texas said it was "vicariously liable" for the accident because it paid the bus company and had a relationship with the trip organizer.

The next step in the process would be an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. Brad Mallett, the tribe's associate general counsel, told The Oklahoman that all options are being considered.

Further appeals could have an impact in Indian Country. While the Choctaw case was in litigation, a charter bus carrying patrons to the casino owned by the Kickapoo Tribe was involved in an accident that resulted in the deaths of nine people and injuries to another 43.


Some attorneys representing victims and survivors have accused the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino, located in Texas, of negligence. But there appear to have been no significant rulings on that front, with the dispute being held up by a bankruptcy proceedings as of last fall, according to news reports.

As for the Choctaws, the appeals court upheld a $9.3 million judgment against the tribe for the accident. The case is Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma v. Sewell.

Read More on the Story:
Second Dallas court finds Choctaw Nation liable for fatal 2013 charter bus crash (The Oklahoman June 1, 2018)
Court of appeals upholds $11M judgment In 2013 casino bus crash (The Dallas Business Journal June 1, 2018)

Court of Appeals Fifth District of Texas Decision:
Choctaw Nation v. Sewell (May 29, 2018)

Related Stories:
Choctaw Nation loses big as state court upholds $9.3 million judgment (May 31, 2018)
Federal authorities concerned about tribal casino bus incidents (October 28, 2016)
Choctaw Nation offered settlements in fatal casino bus accident (05/04)
Choctaw Nation ordered to pay $11M for casino bus crash deaths (05/03)

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