Friday, September 4, 2009
Using an unusual theory of vicarious liability, the family of Michelle Hatchel is suing the Morgans Hotel Group for wrongful death, seeking $645 million in damages, according to this On.Point news story. Hetchel was dating then-CEO Ed Scheetz, who had flown her from New York to Las Vegas on the company jet for a weekend of sex and drugs (and one presumes, rock and roll). The plaintiffs' theory appears to be that Scheetz was effectively the living proof or alter-ego of the Hard Rock's marketing strategy of hedonism and thus that his hedonistic behaviors were part of his job, part of what he was hired for by the Morgans Hotel Group. On Point News was skeptical
Even if Morgans sanctioned his “hedonistic proclivities” and he was using its plane and condo, it surely did not assign him the “very task” of providing illegal drugs to Hatchel.
Moreover, “considering the nature and scope of his employment,” it was hardly foreseeable to Morgans that Scheetz's behavior would result in Hatchel's death.
According to police, Scheetz returned home to the condo about 8 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2007 and called 911 to report that a woman, whom he described as his girlfriend, was not breathing. Hatchel's family say in their suit that he lied to police when he told them she was still alive when he left the condo for work at 9 a.m.
Read the whole story for more on Nevada Law and a link to the complaint.