Lee v. Gnlv Corp.

22 P.3d 209 (2001)


Bobby Lee Sturms and a companion were having dinner at the Carson Street Cafe, a restaurant located within the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. D is the owner and operator of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino and the Carson Street Cafe. Sturms had been drinking that night and was intoxicated. Later, his blood alcohol content was measured and determined to be 0.32 percent. Sturms' companion observed that Sturms, after only a few bites of his meal, appeared nauseated and seemed to be 'getting sick.' Sturms vomited in his lap and on the floor, slumped over in his chair, and closed his eyes. The companion summoned a waitress and security personnel. They arrived within sixty seconds, immediately checked vital signs, and noted that Sturms' pulse was 'strong.' Sturms did not choke or cough, or exhibit any other signs that an object was obstructing his breathing. Sturms' pulse began to slow. Security personnel radioed the hotel dispatcher and requested the assistance of the Las Vegas Fire Department paramedics. Security personnel obtained an oxygen tank, laid Sturms on the floor, and began CPR procedures. Security personnel did not attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The paramedics took over the efforts to resuscitate Sturms. This proved unsuccessful. At the emergency room, doctors attempted to clear Sturms' airway, but these efforts were also unsuccessful. At 10:10 p.m. doctors pronounced Sturms dead. Sturms died from 'asphyxia due to upper airway occlusion by food material.' When asked whether security personnel could have saved Sturms' life, the examining doctor testified, 'I doubt it. I doubt even an immediate Heimlich maneuver would have helped [Sturms] . . . . With the material packed as tightly as we found it I seriously doubt that a Heimlich maneuver would have been successful.' P personally and on behalf of their minor son, Aaron Lee, brought this wrongful death action, claiming negligence on the part of D. D moved for summary judgment; although it owed a duty to Sturms to take reasonable steps to aid him when it became apparent that he needed medical assistance, it fulfilled this duty when its employees promptly summoned emergency medical assistance. The district court granted D's motion for summary judgment. P appealed. P claims that 'reasonable prudence required that the security guards administer the Heimlich Maneuver.