Thursday, December 4, 2008

Court Denies Motion Dismiss Suit Against Lessee of Club Located in Mohegan Sun

A New Haven Superior Court judge concluded the court has subject-matter jurisdiction and denied a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit alleging a customer assaulted him at a nightclub in the Mohegan Sun Casino. Frank Coppola sued Plan B LLC, the lessee of Ultra 88 Lounge, which is located in the casino, alleging that another customer who had been served alcohol at the nightclub assaulted him at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 27, 2006.

The defendants had moved to dismiss or, alternatively, to transfer venue, arguing that the Mohegan Gaming Dispute Court possessed exclusive jurisdiction. They relied on the Mohegan Torts Code, which provides that it applies to “any and all torts claims that may be brought against the MTGA and its employees, by patrons, invitees, guests and other persons who have a valid and legitimate reason to be on the Reservation or within the Mohegan tribe’s gaming, hotel, resort, or entertainment facilities.” The plaintiff, who did not file suit against the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, objected. The court concluded that because the plaintiff did not file suit against the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority or its employees, the Connecticut Superior Court possessed subject-matter jurisdiction. The court also held there was no evidence the court’s decision might threaten the economic security, health or welfare of the tribe. The plaintiff resides in East Haven, Conn. and venue in the Judicial District of New Haven was correct.

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