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California Band Appeals Casino Injury Ruling

5 April 2006

CAMPO INDIAN RESERVATION, California – As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Arguing that state judges are overreaching into tribal jurisdiction, the Campo Indian band has decided to ask the California Supreme Court to overturn last month's appellate ruling in which the tribe was ordered to take an unresolved casino injury claim to arbitration.

"A lawyer for the East County tribe said Campo has directed him to contest the ruling by a San Diego panel of the state Court of Appeal.

"The March 1 ruling, described as the first of its kind in California, could increase litigation over claims involving tribal-state gambling compacts, said Campo attorney Steven O'Neal.

"The case stems from a claim brought by a Golden Acorn Casino patron, Celeste Bluehawk, who slipped and fell on a wet floor in December 2002, and contends she seriously injured her back.

"…The tribe's petition will be filed prior to a deadline Tuesday, and the high court will have 90 days to decide whether it will review the ruling, O'Neal said. He expects the case to attract support from tribes statewide…"

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