Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gambling Lawyer Sues Casinos

March 10th, 2008 ·

Arelia Margarita Taveras had it all: she was a successful lawyer with her own law practice; she appeared on television shows; she was making a lot of money. Then to relieve stress and take a break, she decided to head to Atlantic City. That was the start of a downward spiral that she couldn’t control. She was addicted to gambling and lost over $1 Million. She stole money from her clients. She was disbarred and faces criminal charges. She lost her New York apartment, her parents’ house and owes the IRS $58,000. Eventually, she spent a year in rehab to come to grips with her gambling addiction. She now lives in Minnesota and works at a telephone call center.

So what does she do? She files a $20 Million lawsuit against the casinos claiming they should have known she had a problem and not allowed her to continue gambling. I understand that when someone has an addiction that it can control her life and she will do things that would otherwise be unthinkable. Nevertheless, I also think this is a case of someone not taking personal responsibility. She is going to have a hard time showing that the casinos owed her a duty to send her home. She was treated as a high roller at the casinos. She enjoyed free limo rides and brought her dog with her to the gambling tables. How would a casino know that she didn’t have enough money to gamble as she did? Why would it be a casino’s responsibility to monitor all of its gamblers to insure that there are no addicts?

Ms. Taveras is working to get her life back together. She should accept responsibility for her actions and move forward in a positive direction. Instead of wasting her time with this lawsuit, perhaps it would be beneficial for her to help other addicts in their recovery process. This might just be the career change she needs. It was her decision to gamble, she stole money from her clients, she spent days at the casinos. Does anyone take responsibility anymore?

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