The Mohegan Tribe’s motto of “Perseverance, Honor, and Integrity” is displayed at the Mohegan Tribe Community Center and Government Building in Uncasville, Connecticut. Photo: Bob Nichols / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Settlement reached in sovereign immunity case that went to Supreme Court

A settlement has been reached in Lewis v. Clarke, a sovereign immunity case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a loss for tribal interests.

In the case, the Supreme Court held that an employee of the Mohegan Tribe gaming enterprise could be sued in connection with an accident that occurred when he was on the job. Sovereign immunity is not implicated, the April 2017 decision stated.

Brian and Michele Lewis, the husband and wife who were injured in the accident, have since settled for $110,000, The Connecticut Law Tribune reported. But their attorney told The New London Day that he didn't know who was actually going to pay the amount -- the employee William Clarke or the tribe.

“Whether the money comes from him, the tribe or an insurance policy, we don’t know," attorney James Harrington told The Day. "My guess is it’s not coming from Mr. Clarke.”

The accident in question occurred off the reservation in 2011. But the location wasn't a factor in the Supreme Court's decision.

After the ruling, the tribe expressed belief that the case could proceed through its own judicial system. A second couple who was involved in the accident went through the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court.

The Lewises, however, stuck to state court, which is where the settlement was entered, according to news reports.

Read More on the Story
Settlement in Connecticut Personal Injury Case That Reached US Supreme Court (The Connecticut Law Tribune April 29, 2019)
Mohegan case that led to U.S. Supreme Court decision is settled on its merits (The New London Day April 29, 2019)

U.S. Supreme Court - Lewis v. Clarke
Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: U.S. Supreme Court - Lewis v. Clarke - January 9, 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)

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