Nevada Supreme Court: Workers' Comp only recourse for Harrah's employee who suffered stroke

By Carrie Salls | Sep 24, 2018

Justice Kristina Pickering   yale.edu

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline) – The Supreme Court of the State of Nevada upheld a Clark County ruling that granted summary judgment in favor of Harrah’s Las Vegas and Caesars Entertainment in a lawsuit filed by an employee who suffered a stroke on-the-job at Harrah’s, according to a Sept. 13 opinion.

“(Israel) Baiguen’s injuries occurred in the course of his employment and arose out of his employment such that workers’ compensation is his exclusive remedy against Harrah’s,” Justice Kristina Pickering wrote in the Supreme Court opinion. “We therefore affirm.”

The Supreme Court opinion written by Pickering on behalf of the seven-justice court said plaintiff Baiguen “was suffering a stroke when he arrived for work as a Harrah’s houseperson, and co-workers and a manager recognized that something was wrong with Baiguen. Specifically, he was seen drooling, he was disoriented and “his face was drooping.”

“The manager told Baiguen that he could not work,” the ruling said.

Two employees who were finished with their shifts took him home and waited at Baiguen’s apartment for a short time before leaving.

The opinion said “Baiguen remained in the apartment for two days until his girlfriend stopped by, discovered that he was unable to talk and drooling, and drove him to the hospital.”

In his lawsuit, Baiguen alleged that he did not receive a treatment that could have boosted his stroke-recovery potential within a crucial three-hour period because Harrah’s did not “aid him during the ‘golden window’ of diagnostic and treatment opportunity,” the ruling said.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Harrah’s and Caesars in Baiguen’s case, finding that, since the stroke and any associated injuries occurred while the plaintiff was at work, his only option was to file for workers’ compensation.

Although the Court of Appeals overturned the District Court’s ruling, the Supreme Court threw out the Appeals Court order and upheld the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the employer.

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