$132M Wrongful Death Trial Over Casino Security’s Allegedly Excessive Force Begins, Watch via CVN

Posted by David Siegel on Jun 18, 2024 1:33:53 PM

Jung openings

CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Terrance Jones delivering his opening statement 

Long Beach, CA - A California state court jury heard opening statements Monday in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging a casino’s private security staff suffocated a patron while restraining him, and the full trial is being webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.

The family of decedent Jonathan Jung sued Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens in 2022 following an incident where private security staff supposedly held Jung facedown on asphalt pavement while hogtied with a large security guard placing a knee on his back.

The casino maintains Jung died from methamphetamine use, was behaving erratically and posed a danger to others, but his attorneys argue he was suffering from a mental health crisis and that the situation could have been de-escalated without the use of allegedly excessive, deadly force.

Subscribers to CVN’s online trial video library get unlimited live and on-demand access to the full trial. Sign up for a monthly or annual no-contract subscription, and in addition to live and on-demand access to the current trial, subscribers also can watch hundreds of other civil trials featuring top plaintiff and defense attorneys from throughout the United States.

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During Monday’s opening statements, plaintiff attorneys Terrance Jones and Minh Nguyen of Nguyen Theam Lawyers LLP detailed to jurors that Jung began hearing voices and talking to himself while playing at the baccarat table, prompting casino staff to order him to leave.

Allegedly leaving $3,800 on the table, Jung exited to the parking lot and supposedly expressed a desire to get to his car and leave. However the defense maintains he continued to try to evade security and run around the lot. His attorneys repeatedly stressed that he died only three minutes after being tackled and hogtied while a large individual placed his knee on his back.


Warning jurors they would be faced with repeatedly watching graphic surveillance video of the incident, Jung’s attorneys stressed the force used was grossly out of proportion for a single, restrained, unarmed individual with police en route. They asked jurors to award $132 million, citing $1 million for each second he allegedly suffocated while restrained.

Representing the defense, attorney Joshua Bordin-Wosk of Bordin Semmer Trial Counsel rejected the claim Jung was hogtied, and he flatly denied that Jung ever claimed he couldn’t breathe while being restrained.

He urged jurors not to allow sympathy or the dramatic nature of the events in question to sway their verdict and instead focus on the sworn testimony of guards involved in the incident and autopsy reports.

Bordin-Wosk told jurors the coroner who performed Jung’s autopsy would testify the sole cause of his death was methamphetamine toxicity. He claimed the same doctor would also testify that nothing involved in Jung’s physical restraint contributed to his death in any way.

Bordin-Wosk also rejected allegations the guards were untrained, citing the fact the guards all had certification from a state regulatory body that required at least 32 hours of training in the field.

The trial, taking place before Judge Patrick Madden, is expected to run through July 1. CVN’s gavel-to-gavel live and on-demand coverage will continue for the duration of the proceedings.

The case is captioned The Estate of Jonathan Jung v. The Bicycle Casino Inc., case number 22STCV21242 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Topics: California