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Casino patron hurt in fall on ice has self to blame, appeals court rules

May 21, 2013

A casino patron who passed beneath caution tape and then broke his pelvis in a fall on a snowy and icy parking surface lost his appeal challenging summary judgment in favor of the casino, which had cordoned off that portion of a parking deck.

Charles Pickering argued that the Horseshoe Southern Indiana riverboat casino in the Harrison County town of Elizabeth owed a premises liability duty to protect patrons from a snow- and ice-covered parking area where it was clear through footprints that other patrons had tread.

The casino had placed barricades and caution tape across that part of the parking structure exposed to the elements, and the Court of Appeals found the grant of summary judgment by the trial court was not error because those actions had decreased Pickering’s level of peril.

“The evidence clearly establishes that Pickering knew that he was at risk of falling when he decided to duck underneath the caution tape and venture up the snow-covered ramp. Therefore, Pickering incurred the risk of his injuries as a matter of law,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court in Charles Pickering v. Caesars Riverboat Casino, LLC d/b/a Horseshoe Southern Indiana, 31A01-1209-CT-429.
 

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