Lawsuit says Wynn’s blackjack dealer continued despite man’s heart attack

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David Jagolinzer began convulsing and collapsing while playing blackjack at Wynn Las Vegas Casino in April last year, his family said. When he was slumped face down at the table and suffering a heart attack, the dealer didn’t check him, according to a recent lawsuit, nor did any of the security guards who roamed the casino.

Jagolinzer lay unconscious for 16 minutes while people around him played blackjack, the suit said.

It was only then, when another blackjack dealer came to the table, that things began to happen according to suit.

“She said, ‘Oh my god, he’s blue.’ That was the only time they did anything,” said Christian Morris, an attorney representing Jagolinzer’s family in the lawsuit.

But it’s too late, she added.

Now Jagolinzer’s widow and two minor children are suing Wynn Resorts, accusing the company of first degree murder and negligence. In the lawsuit, filed in Clark County District Court last week, the family members allege that Wynn Las Vegas employees should have realized much earlier that Jagolinzer was having a medical emergency, and allege that if he did, he may still be on the life would be.

“We can’t have casinos trying to save their money in front of their customers,” Morris said. “The reality is they counted his chips while he was dying.”

In a statement, Wynn Resorts said it will “strongly defend itself against the false allegations in this lawsuit.”

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Jagolinzer, a 48-year-old attorney from Coral Gables, Fla., was in Las Vegas in early April to attend a conference for attorneys who handle mass tort cases, such as those dealing with mesothelioma. On April 6, he was a guest at the Wynn Las Vegas, where the conference was being held, playing blackjack with friends and colleagues. At the same time, Jagolinzer’s hand began to tremble, according to the suit. He then collapsed unconscious and leaned over the table. When Jagolinzer was face down, the dealer allegedly continued dealing cards.

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The dealer or one of the Wynn employees roaming the casino should have checked on Jagolinzer, as sleeping or unconsciousness violates Nevada gambling statutes, according to the lawsuit. Instead, they ended up counting his chips “and focusing on the economic settlement of money … and not on his physical well-being,” according to the lawsuit.

About 16 minutes after Jagolinzer collapsed, another dealer came to the blackjack table, the lawsuit says. This employee “noticed it immediately [Jagolinzer] needed medical attention and made remarks that [he] His skin was discolored and he didn’t seem to be breathing. Morris said that while Jagolinzer was “absolutely surrounded” by friends and colleagues from the conference, they were not trained to recognize Jagolinzer’s medical emergency.

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Security was called after the second dealer arrived, and a security guard arrived about a minute later but was “unprepared to provide appropriate emergency medical treatment,” according to the lawsuit. Three minutes later, more security officers arrived with a defibrillator. However, Jagolinzer’s family claims she wasn’t properly trained to use one, so a passerby who happened to be a nurse stopped to use the defibrillator and perform CPR.

About six minutes later, paramedics arrived with a stretcher and managed to revive Jagolinzer’s heart, according to Morris. But, she added, his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, resulting in him suffering what the suit describes as “severe brain damage.”

According to the lawsuit, this led to his death more than six months later on October 18.

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In their lawsuit, the Jagolinzer seeks at least $15,000 in damages, but Morris said the money is not at stake. Since they can’t get her husband and father back, in an ideal world they would force Wynn to make changes to training, staffing or safety protocols that could save the next person to have a medical emergency on the casino floor, she added.

But the law doesn’t allow them to do that, Morris said. They’re after Wynn’s cash because that’s the only thing they can look for, and, she said, a big enough judgment will send a clear message.

“The purpose of this lawsuit,” she said, “is to prevent this from ever happening again.”