Blackjack Dealer Continued Game Despite Player's Heart Attack, Alleges Lawsuit
Read on to find out more, including what the lawsuit says happened that night.
A Las Vegas blackjack dealer allegedly continued a game after a player suffered a heart attack at the table and turned blue, letting the man lie face-down for 16 minutes until another dealer called for help. That's what the man's family alleges. Now they're suing the casino that employed the blackjack dealer and the resort that employs them, claiming they should have done more to save the man, a lawyer who was in town for a conference. Read on to find out more, including what the lawsuit says happened that night, what the family is seeking in damages, and what they hope to accomplish by taking the matter to court.
According to the recently filed lawsuit, David Jagolinzer, 48, started convulsing and collapsed while playing blackjack at the Wynn Las Vegas casino in April 2022. He was having a heart attack. But neither the dealer nor omnipresent security guards checked on him, even as he slumped face-down at the table, the suit alleges, and the dealer kept distributing cards. For 16 minutes, Jagolinzer lay unconscious as people kept playing blackjack around him, the suit states. Then another blackjack dealer came to the table and noticed something was very wrong. "She was like, 'Oh my god, he's blue.' That was the only time they took any action," Christian Morris, a lawyer representing Jagolinzer's family, told the Washington Post.
According to the lawsuit, the other dealer "immediately realized that [Jagolinzer] needed medical attention and made remarks that [he] exhibited discoloration in his skin and appeared to not be breathing." Morris told the Post that although Jagolinzer was "absolutely surrounded" by friends and colleagues, they weren't trained to recognize Jagolinzer's medical emergency. Security was called. About a minute later, one guard arrived but was "unprepared to provide reasonable emergency medical treatment," the suit says. Three minutes later, more security officers arrived with a defibrillator. Jagolinzer's family alleges they weren't properly trained to use one. A nurse who happened to be passing by stopped to use the defibrillator and provide CPR.
About six minutes later, paramedics arrived and managed to restart Jagolinzer's heart, Morris said. But his brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long, causing him to suffer "severe brain damage" which led to his death six months later, the lawsuit says. Jagolinzer's widow and two minor children are now suing Wynn Resorts, accusing the company of wrongful death and negligence. They allege Wynn Las Vegas employees should have realized Jagolinzer was having a medical emergency and offered help earlier.
"We can't have casinos looking to save their money before their customers," Morris told the Post. "The reality is they counted out his chips while he lay dying." In a statement, Wynn Resorts said it will "strongly defend itself against the false claims made in this lawsuit."
The Jagolinzers are seeking at least $15,000 in damages, but Morris told the Post the suit isn't about the money. Instead, they hope a judgment would "send a clear message" that the resort should be better prepared to address medical emergencies on the casino floor. "The purpose of this lawsuit," she said, "is to deter this from ever happening again."