Posted on: February 12, 2024, 02:16h.
Last updated on: February 12, 2024, 02:40h.
A Biloxi casino guest invited by a resort and lured with a free stay alleges in a federal lawsuit that he was “battered, restrained, and detained” by the property’s security.
Plaintiff Brent Nettles alleges in a claim filed in Mississippi’s Southern District federal court that casino security at Beau Rivage Resort & Casino unlawfully arrested and detained him during an incident that occurred on Friday, March 11, 2022. Nettles, a Florida resident, says the Beau Rivage enticed him to visit the Mississippi Gulf Coast casino with a comped stay.
Nettles says he enjoys gambling and is willing to lose up to $20K a year, as he sees it as a form of entertainment. Nettles, a general contractor in St. Augustine, says MGM Resorts, which operates the Beau Rivage, provided complimentary accommodations at the resort hotel from Thursday to Saturday.
Nettles’ attorneys wrote that during the evening of March 11, casino security determined their client to be intoxicated and asked him to leave. Nettles says he was simply enjoying a cocktail with his wife and parents after losing about $5,000 playing slots.
Nettles says he complied with the order to vacate the premises but returned after realizing he hadn’t paid his tab. That’s when casino security, according to the lawsuit’s allegations, “violently” tackled Nettles and “pinned” him to the ground.
Unlawful Arrest Allegation
Nettles claims in the court filing that he was recovering from a bilateral hip replacement surgery at the time. The forceful tackle was followed by security officers handcuffing him with zip ties, which he said were too tight and caused him pain.
The Beau Rivage employees unlawfully battered, restrained, and detained Nettles without probable cause and without the authority of law,” the civil complaint contends.
Nettles says he suffered “severe” physical injury and damages, including harm to his radial nerves, and suffers from pain and numbness in his hands. The litigation brings seven counts against the casino — intentional battery, false arrest, false imprisonment/detention, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, pain, and suffering, general and gross negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, pain, and suffering.
Nettles is seeking financial damages for his related medical expenses, plus compensation for “pain and suffering.” The lawsuit also asks the court to award financial payment for his legal costs.
Case Faces Long Odds
MGM quickly dismissed Nettles’ lawsuit as frivolous. Attorneys representing the casino giant say Nettles’ recollection of the evening is untrue and surveillance video shows a reasonable detention.
This case is not a close call. The evidence does not support a punitive damage instruction. Plaintiff’s claims lack merit and should be dismissed,” MGM attorneys said in the casino’s response and request for summary judgment.
MGM’s legal team added that Beau Rivage has every right to deny a person access to the property for a variety of reasons.
“Plaintiff’s fixation on the intoxication issue is, frankly, irrelevant to the summary judgment analysis. Defendants would have been within their rights to tell the Plaintiff to leave because they didn’t like the shirt he was wearing. Such is the nature of the law permitting business owners to choose their customers,” the MGM response explained.