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Woman gets $500,000 in casino lawsuit

20 February 2009

SAN DIEGO, California -- As reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune: "An El Cajon woman's lawsuit against an Indian tribe that broke new legal ground for personal injury suits against tribes has settled for $500,000.

"Celeste Bluehawk slipped, fell and injured her back in 2002 on a newly mopped floor at the Golden Acorn Casino, operated by the Campo Band of Mission Indians.

"Her lawsuit eventually led to a ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego. In what was then a first for a state appeal court, the justices intervened in a tribal legal matter and ordered the tribe to take the case to arbitration.

"The tribe appealed that 2006 ruling to the state Supreme Court but the court declined to hear the case.

"A key to the settlement, said Bluehawk's attorney, Spencer Busby, was a casino videotape showing that warning cones marking the wet floor were not put out by the cleaners until after Bluehawk had slipped..."

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