CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Joseph Gutierrez, left, and defense attorney Loren Young, right, delivering their opening statements
Las Vegas, NV - The MGM Grand Las Vegas hotel faces allegations at a trial underway in Nevada state court that an iron gave an electric shock to a man that eventually required the amputation of his right leg below the knee, and the trial is being webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
Opening statements took place October 25 in the lawsuit filed by plaintiff Nissim Morami. Morami claims the electrocution he experienced resulted from recent maintenance work on a nearby jacuzzi, but the hotel maintains Morami only experienced a “thermal” event, and that the amputation of his leg was related to childhood cancer in his right foot.
Plaintiff attorney Joseph Gutierrez of Maier Gutierrez & Associates, described to jurors in his opening statement how Morami, 36, tried to plug in the iron at the MGM Grand in 2017.
“He sees a blue flash, he hears a noise and he screams,” Gutierrez said, claiming Morami was physically thrown back from the shock and left with a metallic taste in his mouth.
He suggested electricity entered Morami’s body through his right hand and eventually exited through his right foot, and he argued MGM should have taken greater steps to ensure the electrical system was safe after work on the jacuzzi just the day before.
“MGM did nothing to ensure the electrical system was reasonably safe after it finished work on the jacuzzi tub in Nissim’s room,” Gutierrez said.
Morami’s right leg eventually required amputation due to an infection, which Gutierrez attributed to the “progressive” nature of damage from electrical injuries. He repeatedly emphasized that although Morami had cancer in his right foot as a child that he had been in total remission for years, and that there were no signs his cancer returned after the incident.
Gutierrez didn’t ask for a specific amount of damages in his opening statement, but he did tell jurors that Morami’s medical expenses alone exceed $1.6 million.
Representing the MGM Grand, defense attorney Loren Young of Lincoln Gustafson & Cercos LLP urged jurors not to allow understandable sympathy for Morami to influence their decision.
Young rejected the allegation Morami was electrocuted, telling jurors both Morami’s injuries and the physical evidence at the scene were “not consistent with an electrical event." He said the small blister Morami initially reported on his hand was the result of a “thermal” event.
Young argued the hotel does regular safety inspections of guest rooms and maintained there were no reports of similar prior incidents before Morami’s.
Young told jurors that Morami, who already had part of his right heel removed prior to the accident, learned from his doctors as early as 2014 that his right leg would eventually require amputation due to the latent effects of his childhood cancer.
“Since 2014 Mr. Morami’s treating doctors indicated that a below-the-knee amputation was imminent,” he said.
The full trial, taking place before Judge Joe Hardy, is expected to take roughly two weeks to complete.
The case is captioned Nissim Morami v. MGM Grand, case number A-18-776731-C in Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org