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July 3, 2015

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Court rules Sunset Station open to liability for car theft in valet parking

Map of Sunset Station Hotel Casino

Sunset Station Hotel Casino

1301 W. Sunset Road, Henderson

CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that a man whose car was stolen from Sunset Station's valet parking area can sue the hotel-casino for damages, even though he got an insurance settlement.

The court said the law doesn't shield the company from liability.

In 2006, Marcos Arguello drove his vehicle to the casino, gave his keys to a valet attendant and received a claim ticket. A few hours later he sought to retrieve his vehicle from the valet parking lot, but it had been stolen.

The vehicle was found stripped the following day in Clark County. Arguello received a $20,434 settlement from Farmers Insurance, but he filed suit in district court seeking damages of more than $10,000 from Sunset Station for the loss of use of his vehicle and the added cost of restoring his car.

District Judge Timothy C. Williams entered a summary judgment in favor of Sunset Station, but the Supreme Court ruled the hotel wasn't shielded from liability.

The Supreme Court said Arguello can sue Sunset Station for the full amount of his loss. If the courts order Sunset to pay the full amount of the loss, Farmers might be able to recover the money paid to Arguello.

The court said, “We hold that based upon the plain language of the statute, (the law) does not shield a hotel from civil liability arising from the theft of or damage to a guest’s motor vehicle.”

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