Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson (Baltimore Orioles) is expected to file a lawsuit against the Seminole Tribe after he suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a stage at the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in 2012. He was on the property to attend a fundraiser for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. However, Mr. Robinson’s attorney Jack Hickey said Florida’s Tribal Sovereignty compact might prevent Robinson from receiving fair compensation to cover his medical expenses for his multiple and debilitating injuries.
At the heart of this story is a national consumer issue. With the proliferation of gaming facilities with added attractions such as ballrooms, hotels and concert venues, visitors are not protected if they are injured while they are not gambling. In other words, if you are on property “for gaming purposes” there is a waiver of the immunity allowing you to bring a claim and get full compensation. If you are not on property for gaming purposes (for example a fundraiser or concert) and you are hurt through the Tribe’s negligence, they have tribal immunity in which their liability is limited to the $200,000 statutory cap imposed on governmental entities by the Florida Legislature.
Mr. Robinson’s attorney said this is a horrible injustice to the public and should be addressed during this legislative session.
Here is a PDF of the demands letter.