The game of poker is a capricious thing. While skill clearly plays its role in the outcome of long term results, it’s undeniable that the proverbial pendulum of lucks swings both ways. A poker player can receive a series of fortunate starting hands just as easily as they can hit a bad beat on the river. For one Florida woman, it seems Lady Luck had abandoned her shoulder last fall when an employee allegedly dropped a box of poker chips upon her head, resulting in “severe injury”.
According to a publication on SaintPetersBlog.com on Monday, Florida poker player Diana Bellerose was partaking in a card game at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa, FL in October 2014 when the incident occurred.
The victim claims that one of the staff members at the casino attempted to pass a drop box containing poker chips over her head to another employee. She alleges that the box was fumbled by the staff members and incidentally fell, striking Ms. Bellerose in the head.
Despite the latency of the alleged catastrophic accident, the poker player did not file a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe of Florida (dba Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino – Tampa) in the Hillsborough County Court until May 26, 2015. Such delays are common, however, due to extensive medical evaluations.
Official court documents offer very little information as to the minutiae of the lawsuit at this time, but it’s clear enough that the case is heading towards trial. After several requests and service notices were made throughout June, a “motion to set for trial” was issued by the prosecuting party on July 6.
Ms. Bellerose’s attorney, John T. Golding, has declined to speak with or return any phone calls inquiring about the case, but his office did reveal that the complaint is a mere two pages in length. The Florida poker player claims to have incurred “severe injury”, and is suing for disability, disfigurement, hospitalization and lost wages.
SaintPetersBlog.com journalist Janelle Irwin questioned the authenticity of Ms. Bellerose’s claims; particularly the severity of the injuries incurred. Irwin expressed her confusion at “how a bump on the head causes disfigurement”. She then humorously compared the situation to “a cartoon in which a giant bump emerges from the head and some unknown antagonist then throws a horseshoe at it.”
In any case, the Seminole Tribe of Florida is not backing down from the situation.
In many cases where a patron sues a major business, especially where injury claims are concerned, the defendant will attempt to settle out of court. Not only does a settlement avoid an expensive and lengthy court process, it helps to keep the business from getting drug through the mud by the press.
To date, the Seminole Tribe has offered no settlement to the Florida poker player. On the contrary, the tribe’s attorney, Daniel Adam Krischner, filed a “demand for jury trial” on June 29, 2015 in response to Ms. Bellerose’s complaint. As of now, the court has yet to set a date for the case to go to trial.