Last week a Federal Court jury in Gulfport rendered a 40% defendant at fault and $475,000 verdict in Hlywiak v. Grand Casino Biloxi.

The combined judgment for the two plaintiffs was just under $190,000.

Plaintiffs alleged Grand Casino (Harrah’s) created a dangerous condition by maintaining a pool deck with a coefficient of friction (slipperiness) below the acceptable standard. Plaintiff slipped on a slick surface while stepping over a surface joint after exiting a hot tub . Plaintiff’s expert performed tests showing that the surface was too slick on both sides of the joint but especially slick on the side plaintiff slipped on.

Harrah’s never tested the surface and neglected to tell their paint supplier what coefficient of friction they needed for the surface to be safe.

David Baria and Brandon Jones of Baria-Jones in Bay St. Louis represented the plaintiffs. Taylor McNeel and Rodgrick Hickman with Brunini in Biloxi represented the defendant.

District Judge Sul Ozerden presided.

My Take:

Sounds like some good plaintiff lawyering with the expert, testing for slipperiness, etc. Usually, a case like that is: “I fell; pay me.”

And usually, it doesn’t fly.