Mississippi Casino Guest Sues After Casino Shuttle Drove Into Him

Posted on: June 15, 2023, 09:33h. 

Last updated on: June 15, 2023, 10:17h.

A pedestrian who was struck by an Island View Casino van is now suing the Mississippi gaming property for what are described as “significant injuries.”

Island View Casino
Island View Casino, pictured above. The Mississippi gaming property was sued following one of its vans striking a pedestrian. (Image: Island View Casino)

Gerald LaMay of Alabama suffered several broken ribs, cuts in his liver, and fluid buildup in tissue in his lungs and chest from the May 5 collision, according to the federal lawsuit filed last week.

Some of the injuries are permanent, the legal action claims. LaMay also allegedly suffered emotional distress from the crash.

LaMay and his wife, Malinda, were walking across 33rd Street in Gulfport, Miss., near the casino when the Ford van struck him. AL.com, a regional news site, reported the incident based on a copy of the lawsuit.

The couple had eaten a complimentary early dinner at the Beach Blvd. Steamer restaurant. The eatery is owned by Island View, and is located adjacent to the gaming property.

The LaMays left the restaurant at 5:59 p.m. and were walking toward their hotel room at the casino. They were crossing the street from the eastbound to westbound lanes when the accident took place.

Driver Was Allegedly Careless

The shuttle’s driver, identified as Karen Monroe, was operating a 2019 Ford E-Series van. She pulled out of the casino’s driveway and turned north onto 33rd Avenue.

She “suddenly, negligently, carelessly, recklessly, and without warning” struck LaMay, the litigation said. The impact also caused him to be thrown into the air, according to the suit.

Both the casino and Monroe, who works for the casino, were negligent in their actions, the lawsuit claims. Monroe allegedly failed to operate the van with reasonable care.

Specifically, the litigation said Monroe did not:

  • Keep a proper lookout
  • Control the van properly
  • Keep a proper distance from LaMay
  • Use reasonable care when driving
  • Follow relevant Mississippi motor vehicle laws

The casino also should have taken precautions that would have avoided the collision, the suit said.

Beyond the casino and Monroe, the lawsuit also names five “John Does” to indicate other possible defendants who may be later identified. They include other Island View Casino employees, Ford Motor Co., businesses that provided the shuttle’s equipment and tires, and other possible parties.

Pain, Suffering, Mental Anguish

LaMay is seeking unspecified damages, as well as reimbursement for medical and household expenses. He claims to have suffered pain and mental anguish, too.

The LaMays are requesting a jury trial be held in the case. If it goes to trial, it is likely the attorneys for the LaMays will call expert witnesses. It is also possible a settlement could be reached before a trial commences.

Both Monroe and the casino are expected to file responses to the litigation in the coming weeks. So far, they haven’t released any comments to the media in response to the allegations contained in the lawsuit.