Earlier last month, an appellate court issued a written opinion discussing whether a casino has a duty to protect passengers as they board a free shuttle operated by the casino. In the case, Huang v. The Bicycle Casino, the appellate court determined that the lower court erred when it held, as a matter of law, that the defendant did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care to prevent other passengers from trampling her as she was boarding the bus. Although the court did not reach a final decision on whether the casino was acting as a common carrier, the language used by the court indicated its willingness to consider the issue in future cases presenting similar facts.
Huang was planning on visiting the defendant casino. To get there, she planned to take a free shuttle offered by the casino. However, she was not alone in her desire to use the free shuttle. In fact, there were between 40 and 70 other people waiting for the same shuttle, which only had 40 seats.
The casino did not do anything to ensure the orderly boarding of the shuttle, and the shuttle stop was described as chaotic by those present. As the shuttle approached, the crowd ran toward it with many people trying to board at the same time. As Huang approached the shuttle doors, the crowd surged and caused her to slip. As a result of her fall, she sustained a serious injury. She subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the casino.