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Dettle v. Treasure Island Resort & Casino

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 18, 2019

Lillian B. Dettle, Plaintiff,
v.
Treasure Island Resort & Casino, et al., Defendants.

          Lillian B. Dettle, pro se.

          Peter Rademacher, and Vanya Hogen, for Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case is before the Court on Plaintiff's objection (“Objection”) [Doc. No. 41] to United States Magistrate Judge Tony Leung's November 30, 2018 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) [Doc. No. 38]. Magistrate Judge Leung recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint [Doc. No. 1] without prejudice. (R&R at 1.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Plaintiff's Objection, adopts the R&R in full, and dismisses Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On March 24, 2017, Plaintiff was visiting Treasure Island Resort & Casino. (Compl. at 4.) While she was there, Plaintiff bumped into a chair positioned at an odd angle against a slot machine. (Id.) According to Plaintiff, employees at Treasure Island saw the injury occur and sent for medical assistance. (Mot. to Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 13], Ex. 2 at 4.) Plaintiff was treated at the scene with icepacks and a wrap. (Compl. at 4.)

         Plaintiff's leg was “red, sore, bruised, and swollen” after the accident and continued to worsen in the months following. (Id. at 4.) She was eventually treated with oral antibiotics for a possible infection and had a blood clot removed from her leg. (Id.) While Plaintiff's condition has improved, her leg is still “painful to touch.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff approached Treasure Island to seek compensation for her injuries. (Id.) Treasure Island engaged Tribal First as its third-party claim administrator. (Compl., Ex. 1 at 1.) After conducting an investigation, Tribal First denied Plaintiff's claims, stating that it found “neither negligence nor liability” on behalf of Treasure Island. (Id., Ex. 1 at 3.) Hudson Insurance Group (“Hudson”) also appears to have been involved in the processing of Plaintiff's claim. (Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 11], Ex. 1 at 6-8.)

         On June 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed her Complaint against Defendants. Finding Plaintiff's initial complaint to be inadequate, the Court gave Plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended complaint. (R&R at 4.) Ultimately, Plaintiff filed both her Amended Complaint [Doc. No. 11] and a motion to amend her complaint [Doc. No. 13], accompanied by additional pleading documents (Mot. to Am. Compl., Ex. 1-2.) On February 28, 2018, the Court construed all of Plaintiff's documents together as a single pleading, granted her motion to amend, and granted her leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (See generally Feb. 23, 2018 Order [Doc. No. 15].)

         In her Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that she “almost lost [her] leg” due to Treasure Island's negligence. (Am. Compl. at 6.) Plaintiff asserts that Treasure Island “should have immediately seen [the chair] on the cameras” and corrected the situation. (Id.) In addition, Plaintiff contends that Treasure Island failed to post signs prohibiting the slanting of chairs on slot machines. (Id.) Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages for “medical and prescription costs” and emotional distress resulting from loss of sleep and worry over possibly losing her leg. (Compl. at 4.) Plaintiff also seeks punitive damages. (Id.)

         On June 4, 2018, Defendant moved to dismiss this matter based on a lack of subject matter jurisdiction, tribal immunity, insufficient service of process, and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss [Doc. No. 22] (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), (5), (6).) In a thorough and well-reasoned R&R, Magistrate Judge Leung recommended that the Complaint be dismissed without prejudice. (R&R at 17.) On December 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed a timely Objection to Magistrate Judge Leung's R&R. (Obj. at 1.)

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard of Review

          Upon issuance of an R&R, a party may “serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). “The objections should specify the portions of the magistrate judge's [R&R] to which objections are made and provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-cv-1958 (JRT/RLE), 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). Then, the district court will review de novo those portions of the R&R to which an objection is made, and it “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the ...


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