MGM Resorts Sued by Parents of Girl Critically Injured by Faulty Wiring at MGM National Harbor

Posted on: November 20, 2018, 08:12h. 

Last updated on: November 20, 2018, 08:12h.

MGM Resorts International is being sued by the family of a seven-year-old girl who suffered a massive electric shock when she touched an illuminated handrail at the MGM National Harbor on June 26.

MGM Resorts
Zynae Green was six when she suffered a critical electric shock at the MGM National Harbor that sent her into cardiac arrest and left her in a semi-vegetative state. A lawsuit accuses MGM and contractors of cutting corners at the expense of safety to get its casino open in time. (Image: Facebook)

Zynae Green, who was six at the time, went into cardiac arrest after 120 volts of electricity jolted through her body when she put her hands on the rail and her feet on another near a lit water fountain.

She suffered anoxic brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen and remains in a semi-vegetative state, breathing on her own but only able to move her eyes. She was recently moved to to an acute rehabilitation facility for 24-hour medical care after spending two months in the hospital. Doctors do not expect her to recover.

On Monday, a lawsuit filed in St Prince George’s County, Maryland, accuses MGM, its general contractor, Whiting-Turner, and Rosendin Electric, the electrical contractor, of rushing to get jobs done “at the expense of safety” so that the casino could hit its launch date of December 2016.

Others Shocked Days Before

The lawsuit alleges the electrics had been defective for some time and should have been repaired long before Green touched the handrail. It claims video from the National Harbor shows that other visitors appear to have received shocks from the rail days before the accident.

The lawsuit further asserts that MGM failed in its duty of care by neglecting to have a defibrillator on the premises to render emergency aid. Had one been available, Green would not have lost the amount of oxygen she did, which could have resulted in a less catastrophic outcome.

“This is about the absolute need to take care of this girl for the rest of her life,” the family’s lawyer Benedict Morelli told The Washington Post. “She’ll never be much more than what she is. She’ll never go to college or get married.”

Major Safety Violation

County investigators determined the accident had been caused by faulty wiring that amounted to a “major” violation of electrical safety codes. An independent engineer described the job as “terrible” and some of the “sloppiest work” he had seen.

MGM is blaming the contractor.

The incident at National Harbor was a tragic accident and we are all heartbroken that Zynae Green and her family continue to suffer,” said MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong in a statement. “We are committed to continue working with the family’s representative to reach a resolution. In the meantime, we will respond to this lawsuit in the appropriate venue, which is in court.”

DeShong said MGM had offered to assist with medical expenses but its offer had been turned down. But Morelli told The Post MGM has offered “nothing” to the family

“If in fact someone said they made an offer then I would love to hear what it is,” he added.

Green turned seven on Sunday, the day before the case was filed.