SC Supreme Court Rules Rockaways Can Appeal Gambling Loss Lawsuit
Last year, the South Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that a woman could move forward with her lawsuit against restaurant Rockaways for gambling losses she suffered while in the midst of a gambling addiction.
The plaintiff is Lauren Proctor, represented by the Strom Law Firm. Pete Strom, founder of the Strom Law Firm, said, “We believe that this decision opens the door for individuals and families harmed by illegal gambling across the state to seek recovery for gambling losses.”
According to the lawsuit, from 1999 to 2005, Proctor frequently gambled on video poker machines provided by Pizza Man and Rockaways Athletic Club. She often lost between $1,000 and $5,000 gambling on the video poker machines, which South Carolina ruled were illegal in 2000. According to case documents, the two establishments encouraged her video poker addiction by providing her with cash advances to fund her gambling, as well as free food and liquor to keep her at the establishments longer.
Although the video poker machines have been illegal in South Carolina since 2000, the two operations kept theirs in use, which fueled her furthered loss of income for the next five years, until she was arrested as part of an FBI sting operation that investigated an embezzlement scam Proctor was involved with.
Rockaways lost the gambling loss lawsuit, but now, the South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled that the restaurant chain can take the case back to court.
Although attorneys for the successful SC restaurant chain claimed that the original judgment “creates new law opening the civil judicial system to a flood of lawsuits by disgruntled criminals suing other criminals for business disputes,” Mr. Strom wrote that state law clearly supports “a policy of allowing plaintiffs to recover gambling losses as a way of both discouraging illegal gambling and protecting gamblers and their family members from imprudent gambling activities.”
Strom said, “We look forward to arguing this. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will make a definitive statement.”
The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes Operators of Illegal Gambling Machines for Gambling Losses
The Strom Law Firm was one of the first law firms to bring suits against the video gambling and poker industry in the late 1990s seeking to recover gambling losses. Since that time, Strom Law Firm has litigated a couple of video poker and illegal gambling machine cases, including a case against a local Columbia restaurant.
A family or relative may file suit anytime within one year from the time the money is lost gambling. If you or a family member has lost money to illegal gambling machines or gambling addiction within the last year, you may have legal rights, and should contact a lawyer immediately.
The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm will vigorously defend victims of illegal gambling machines and help return their gambling losses, as part of state criminal defense. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. To have a lawyer evaluate your case, please call us at 803.252.4800.