Former Caesars Casino Executive Sues Operator Over COVID-19 Resignation

Former Caesars Casino Executive Sues Operator Over COVID-19 Resignation

Ex-GM and Senior VP at Harrah’s Resort SoCal Valley Center recently sued Caesars Casino over his resignation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit states that Pilant is eligible for a year’s worth of severance under contract.

Case filed in San Diego Superior Court

Pilant has sued the resort manager and Caesars Entertainment Inc., for wrongful termination. In the lawsuit filed in the San Diego Superior Court on August 31, he claims that he had repeatedly alerted the management about his concerns over the property’s reopening. He noted that reopening may expose patrons to COVID-19. However, his warnings were not given heed and the management gave him an “illegal and dangerous” order to open the resort on May 22.

Former Caesars Casino Executive Sues Operator Over COVID-19 Resignation

Pilant resigned from his position on May 21, 2020. He has been appointed GM in 2016. His suit suggests that Pilant was “constructively terminated” and he is therefore contractually eligible for severance pay that totals a year’s worth of salary. The executive’s salary was not revealed in the court papers but San Diego based inewsource said that he is also seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

What’s the controversy behind the reopening?

Pilant claims that the property’s decision to reopen in May led to serious adverse impacts on the health and safety of the customers. The resort is owned by the Rincon Band of the Luiseno Indians. However, it is managed by Caesars Entertainment. Given that tribal casinos are run on sovereign property, these gaming venues opened in May while most other facilities remained closed because of the state’s orders.

Inewsource confirmed via San Diego County that at least 217 local residents who contracted the COVID-19 disease visited a casino within two weeks of falling ill. One of them eventually succumbed to the illness. The County spokesperson Sarah Sweeney said that the cases were linked to seven of the nine tribal casinos and include 76 employees and 141 guests. She said that while the county works with the tribal health bodies on individual cases, they have not made any definitive connection between a patron and a casino employee.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.