The Mohegan Tribe owns and operates Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Mohegan Tribe faces lawsuits for accident involving drunken casino patron

The gaming arm of the Mohegan Tribe is being sued by a woman who blames a car accident on a drunken patron.

According to news reports, Andrea Bettencourt has filed lawsuits in tribal court and in state court. She alleges Mose L. Jones Jr., was over-served alcohol at the Mohegan Sun gaming facility in Connecticut before his vehicle collided head-on with hers.

“Our position is he was drinking nonstop for three to four hours,” attorney Robert Reardon, who represents Bettencourt, told The Connecticut Law Journal. “He was grossly intoxicated.”

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment is seeking the dismissal of Bettencourt's state court lawsuit, The New London Day reported. The tribe argues that Bettencourt has failed to pursue all of her options in the tribal system, as required by U.S. Supreme Court's exhaustion doctrine.

Bettencourt also sued the estate of Jones, who was killed in the January 2016 incident. She reached a $1.45 million settlement with his estate and Reardon is now intent on pursuing the tribe.

“Ms. Bettencourt has been through a terrible ordeal, but it’s not enough yet. We will continue to try to receive more compensation from the tribe,” Reardon told The Connecticut Law Journal.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court held that tribal employees are not protected by tribal sovereign immunity. The decision in Lewis v. Clarke involved a Mohegan Sun employee but the tribe itself was not a party to the case.

Read More on the Story:
Norwich Woman Gets $1.45 Million Settlement Following Accident With Drunk Driver (The Connecticut Law Tribune October 31, 2017)
Montville woman severely injured in 2016 collision reaches $1.45M settlement (The Norwich Bulletin October 31, 2017)
Montville woman receives $1.45 million settlement in drunken driving crash (The New London Day October 31, 2017)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision:
Syllabus [Summary of Outcome] | Opinion [Sotomayor] | Concurrence [Thomas] | Concurrence [Ginsburg]

U.S. Supreme Court Documents:
Docket Sheet No. 15-1500 | Questions Presented | Oral Argument Transcript

Connecticut Supreme Court Decision:
Lewis v. Clarke (March 15, 2016)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Native Sun News Today: Nation's highest court calls tribe's bluff with new decision (May 15, 2017)
Mohegan Tribe wants gaming disputes resolved in own judicial system (April 26, 2017)
Jenn Weddle: 'Best possible result' from court in sovereignty case (April 26, 2017)
Supreme Court hands defeat to tribal interests in sovereignty case (April 25, 2017)
Supreme Court hears argument in lone Indian law case on docket (January 9, 2017)
Supreme Court schedules oral argument in tribal immunity case (December 6, 2016)
Matthew Fletcher: Supreme Court case poses new risks to tribes (November 14, 2016)
Supreme Court opens new term with tribal immunity on the docket (October 4, 2016)
Supreme Court accepts case involving Mohegan Tribe casino employee (September 29, 2016)