A federal jury returned a verdict totaling over $729,000 in a case involving the abuse of a patron by security personnel at Tunica’s Hollywood Casino and a deputy of the Tunica County Sheriff’s office. The victim, who was suspected of counting cards, a lawful activity, but not suspected of any illegal activity, was wrongfully detained by Hollywood Casino employees, who instructed cashiers to refuse to cash the victim’s chips unless the victim provided them with his identification.
The victim refused to do so and asked to be paid so that he could leave the casino. Instead, casino employees called the Sheriff’s department. Deputy Dornae Mosby responded and demanded identification from the victim, who complied with the deputy’s request but instructed the deputy not to show the identification to casino personnel. The deputy ignored this instruction, and allowed casino personnel to take possession of the victim’s identification and photocopy it, despite there being no legal basis for so doing. The victim was arrested by Mosby for disorderly conduct. The charge was subsequently dismissed.
The victim sued Hollywood casino, Tunica County, and Deputy Mosby. The jury awarded him $25,000 from Deputy Mosby individually for the violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. The jury found the casino liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, conversion, and trespass to chattels. The final two items involve the wrongful taking of plaintiff’s identification by casino personnel. The jury awarded $103,703 in damages to the victim from the casino, plus punitive damages of $600,550.
Case: US District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Delta Division — Civil Action No. 2:06CV204P-A Grosch v. Tunica County et al.
The above summary of the case and jury verdict against Hollywood Casino in Tunica and an apparently corrupt sheriff’s deputy speaks for itself. There is nothing I can add, except my thanks to the jury for doing the right thing.
Will casinos ever learn?