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June 26, 2017

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Court: Aria not liable in fiery wreck after men left casino

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Las Vegas Sun Staff

Wrecked cars are shown after a shooting and multi-car accident that left three people dead and three injured on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday morning Feb. 21, 2013. EDITOR’S NOTE: This photo has been digitally altered to obscure an image of one of the victims.

Strip shooting crash

Smoke and flames billow from a burning vehicle following a shooting and multicar accident on the Las Vegas Strip early Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. Launch slideshow »

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Court of Appeals has ruled the Aria is not liable for damages in the 2013 traffic death of a taxi passenger after a man who left the casino opened fire on another driver, leading to a fiery crash on the Las Vegas Strip.

The court said the Aria is entitled to collect the costs of defending itself against the lawsuit filed by James Wasmund, the husband of victim Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Wash.

According to Metro Police, Ammar Harris exchanged words with Kenneth Cherry Jr. outside the Aria early Feb. 21, 2013, after leaving the Haze nightclub.

Both men drove off and Harris opened fire on Cherry on the Strip, police said. Cherry was fatally wounded, and the Maserati he was driving ran a red light at Flamingo Road, colliding with the cab, police said.

The cab driver, Michael Bolden, 62, and Sutton-Wasmund, 48, were killed when the taxi burst into flames.

Harris, who was convicted of 11 felony charges, including three counts of first-degree murder, was sentenced to death in the case.

In his lawsuit, Wasmund argued casino security should have prevented Harris from getting into his vehicle after the dustup. But the court ruled the casino had no such duty.

“Under common law, there is no duty to control a party’s dangerous conduct, warn others, or protect another from a criminal act,” the court ruled.