Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2019

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Actor Conaway sues Mandalay Bay

In the movie "Grease," actor Jeff Conaway's tough guy character, Kenickie, never hesitated to rumble with his rivals.

After security guards allegedly broke his arm at Mandalay Bay, Conaway filed a lawsuit.

Conaway filed a civil suit Friday against Mandalay Resort Group, alleging that he was violently slammed to the floor by security guards on June 4, 2002, after he tried to complain to a supervisor that the guards told him he was no longer allowed to gamble or drink alcohol.

Conaway, 52, is seeking damages for assault, battery, emotional distress and negligence.

According to the lawsuit, Conaway was in Las Vegas to speak with representatives of an unnamed company about working as a spokesman. He stayed at Mandalay Bay, and the night of June 3, 2002, he played blackjack at the casino and was given free cocktails.

After several hours, casino security guards told Conaway he wasn't permitted to gamble anymore. He went up to the room he was sharing with his wife, Kerri, then went back to the casino and tried again to make wagers at a blackjack table.

Casino personnel told him again he was not allowed to gamble or drink there anymore, the suit says.

The next morning, Conaway went to the guest registration desk with $1,000 in cash and chips and asked to speak to a supervisor about how security guards weren't letting him gamble.

Conaway "was then surrounded by security guards employed by the casino, who viciously, and without provocation, took hold of Jeffrey and violently slammed him to the floor of the casino, causing Jeffrey severe injury."

The guards allegedly handcuffed Conaway and confined him in a room. He told the guards he was in pain, and the guards allegedly taunted Conaway and laughed at him. He eventually convinced the guards to call an ambulance and was taken to Desert Springs Hospital to be treated for a fractured right arm. Employees never offered to make restitution or offered an apology, the suit says.

Conaway became "severely depressed and emotionally distraught" as a result of the alleged incident. His wife, also named as a plaintiff, is alleging emotional distress.

According to the lawsuit, Conaway was told that one or more of the guards who allegedly assaulted him have a history of workplace violence, and Mandalay Bay failed to properly train its guards.

Conaway is seeking an undisclosed amount of money.

A spokesman for Mandalay Bay Resort Group said Monday that he couldn't comment on the lawsuit. Conaway's Los Angeles attorney, William W. Bloch, could not be reached for comment.

In addition to playing Kenickie in the 1978 musical "Grease," Conaway was a cast member of the situation comedy "Taxi" from 1978 to 1981. Most recently, Conaway reprised his "Taxi" character and also played himself in the 1999 Jim Carrey movie "Man on the Moon."