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Disbarred attorney sues casinos for not noticing her addiction

From the Center for Individual Freedom:

A former New York lawyer has filed a $20 million racketeering lawsuit in federal court against several Atlantic City casinos and one Las Vegas casino, charging that they had a duty to notice her compulsive gambling problem and cut her off.

Arelia Margarita Taveras, who had represented many families of victims of American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed in Queens in 2001, admitted becoming a regular at the casinos. Her suit alleges that she spent days at a time at the tables, not eating or sleeping, subsisting on orange juice and candy bars, and brushing her teeth with disposable wipes, neglecting her law practice. When her losses rose to nearly $1 million, she dipped into her clients' escrow accounts. Ultimately she was disbarred, lost her apartment and her parents' house (they had presumably co-signed on a loan) and owes the IRS $58,000.

"They knew I was going for days without eating and sleeping," Taveras said. "I would pass out at the tables. They had a duty of care to me. Nobody in their right mind would gamble for four or five straight days without sleeping."

The casinos deny any wrongdoing. Joe Corbo, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, said, "This can be a delicate situation, and it comes down to an individual's personal responsibility. We can only suggest that they receive assistance and provide information how they can obtain help, but it is up to them to commit to seek it."

--Ultimate Source: The Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul)



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.