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Boyd Gaming Hit with Lawsuit Over Suncoast Escalator Death

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 11 August 2023
2 min to read

The wife of a man who died from injuries sustained on an escalator walkway at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino in Northwest Las Vegas has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Boyd Gaming.
Suncoast Hotel & Casino, Boyd Gaming, escalator

On July 26, 2021, tragedy unfolded at Suncoast Hotel & Casino when Roberto Bernales, who required a walking aid, and his wife, Vivienne de Jesus-Bernales, used the moving walkway. An alleged “hump” in the walkway caused Bernales to fall backwards and his shirt to become entangled in the mechanisms, resulting in deep cuts on the back of his head. When de Jesus-Bernales called for help and asked that the walkway be stopped, her pleas were not heeded and Bernales was dragged for several minutes. As a result of his injuries, Bernales died on Aug. 3, 2021. The lawsuit against Suncoast owner Boyd Gaming, filed by Vivienne de Jesus-Bernales, alleges that the fatal incident was the result of negligence and that a dangerous condition was carelessly and recklessly allowed to exist.

The lawsuit alleges that the deceased passed away as a direct and immediate consequence of Suncoast and Boyd’s negligence, or their failure to take appropriate action. It further claims there was a dangerous condition which contributed to the death.

‘Dangerous Condition’

The lawsuit alleges that Boyd had neglected to place any signs near the walkway or to warn secondary users that it should not be used by people requiring a walker, and also that the walkway was not properly maintained, which allowed an abnormal “hump” to form. The lawsuit argues that the “hump” would not be on a walkway in the absence of negligence. Additionally, the lawsuit also names Atlanta-based TK Elevator Corporation, who they claim sold a defective product. Furthermore, they argue that the defendants knew, or should have been aware, of the dangers posed by the “hump” as well as the lack of warnings and the defects in the escalator that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The lawsuit asks for at least US$15,00, in general and special damages, plus punitive damages and attorney’s fees, and a jury trial.

Boyd Gaming stated that, per their policy, they do not comment on ongoing legal proceedings. This includes the earlier case that took place at the Orleans.

Previous Case at Orleans

In 2017, a coroner ruled that Paul Neiswander’s death after he fell from a moving stairway at The Orleans, Las Vegas, was an accident; however, Neiswander’s family sued the owner of the stairway, Boyd, claiming it had suddenly stopped, sending Neiswander forward. This is not the first time Boyd has been sued over a fatal escalator accident. The resolution of the lawsuit is unknown.

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Updated: 11 August 2023
2 min to read

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