gambling; addiction; negligence; casino; legal battle; disbarred

Legal Action For Gambling Addiction

Lawyer Sues Casino for Gambling Addiction

Most of the time, attorneys are good people who are trying to make sure the laws are followed and that people get the help and compensation they need for their cases. However, there are always a few bad apples, as well as desperate apples, in the bunch. One of these strange legal cases with a bad apple dates all the way back to 2008 and an attorney named Arelia Taveras.

Losing Everything

Taveras seemed to have just about everything. She was a successful lawyer working for victims of 9/11 and she worked as a TV commentator. However, she had a problem. She liked to gamble. In fact, she liked to gamble a lot and this turned into a very expensive habit. She lost up to $1 million and would sometimes spend days gambling. This doesn’t mean that she would just spend days staying in a casino. It meant that she would stay for days at a time at the tables, foregoing eating and even sleeping.
She would sometimes play up to seven hands of blackjack at once. This made it possible for her to have the entire table to herself. During those days, it was possible for her to lose five grand each hour she was playing.
In order to get the money needed for her gambling addiction, Taveras would swindle it from her clients. It was discovered that she took close to a hundred thousand dollars between several different clients. She even forged bank slips. For this reason, she was disbarred and faced criminal charges. She believes that gambling is worse than other addictions, such as drugs, and that it can creep up on you slowly.
She says that the reason she got so caught up was the fault of the casinos. She says they should have cut her off and that they had a “duty of care” to her. Because of her gambling addiction, she lost her practice, apartment, her parent’s home, and was severely in debt.

The Lawsuit Against Casinos

Since she believed it was the casinos’ fault that she continued to gamble and continued on her downward spiral, she decided that she would sue the places where she gambled. In the lawsuit, she included resorts such as Atlantic City, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, the Showboat Casino Hotel, Bally’s Atlantic City, and the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, which is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
She sued the casinos for a range of things, including negligence, negligent and in intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract, and violations of federal racketeering statutes to name just a few. However, the judge in her case would not allow Taveras to go forward with the lawsuit.
A gambling addiction can be a problem for many people. However, in those areas where gambling is allowed, the casinos are not required to be legally responsible for the actions of compulsive gamblers. The gamblers need to be responsible for their own actions, even when they cause themselves harm, as it did in the case of Taveras.