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  #1  
Old 03-12-2008, 02:21 PM
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A Lesson in Personal Responsibility

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03092008/news/regionalnews/gall_in__bankrupt_gambler_sues_nj_101010.htm

Quote:

GALL IN! BANKRUPT GAMBLER SUES NJ
CASINOS THIEF ATT'Y: THEY FED MY ADDICTION
By JENNIFER FERMINO

March 9, 2008 -- A crooked Queens lawyer who bottomed out at the blackjack tables to the tune of $1 million is trying to recoup her losses and then some with a $20 million lawsuit blaming seven casinos for her downward spiral.

Arelia Margarita Taveras, 37 - who represented victims' families in both the World Trade Center attacks and the Flight 587 crash in the Rockaways - said her gambling problem was so out of control she once spent five straight days at Resorts Casino tables in Atlantic City subsisting on complimentary candy bars and orange juice.

The Corona native and Cardozo Law School graduate was a regular at several gaming palaces - even keeping her dog by her side and brushing her teeth with disposable wipes so she wouldn't lose her seat.

"I would pass out at the tables. They had a duty of care to me," Taveras told The Post yesterday. "Nobody in their right mind would gamble for four or five straight days without sleeping."

"They [the casinos] knew I was going for days without eating or sleeping."

Not only did she lose nearly $1 million, her bad habits cost her the license to practice law, her apartment and her parents' home.

On top of that, she faces a laundry list of criminal charges filed by the Queens DA - including grand larceny and forgery - for bilking four clients out of $99,142.

"We're trying to work it out so I can pay restitution," she said.

Taveras, who now lives in Minnesota, owes the IRS $58,000 and said she has contemplated suicide.

It's a shocking fall for the ambitious lawyer.

She had represented WTC families in 400-client practice that earned $500,000 a year.

And she made a name for herself representing the families of victims of American Airlines Flight 587, which crashed just after takeoff from Kennedy Airport in 2001, killing 265 people.

She then appeared on TV and radio to discuss legal issues, wrote a guidebook for women dealing in the court system with deadbeat dads, titled "The Gangsta Girls' Guide To Child Support," and was a regular contributor to Hispanic-culture Web sites.

But the stress of her high-flying career led her looking for ways to blow off steam - and she found it in the casinos of Atlantic City and occasionally Las Vegas.

In September 2003 she started going regularly to the New Jersey gambling mecca to unwind.

She said she also gambled at other casinos but spent most of her time - and money - at Resorts, dropping $850,000 there in two years.

During one five-day gambling jag there in June 2005, Taveras says she existed on nothing but orange juice and Snickers bars that staff gave her.

A month later, according to her suit, Taveras was playing seven blackjack hands at a time so she could have the entire table to herself, and was losing $5,000 per hour.

In addition to Resorts, her lawsuit in US District Court in New Jersey names five other casinos in Atlantic City, including two owned by Donald Trump, as well as the MGM in Las Vegas.

The casinos did not return calls for comment.

Taveras insists it was obvious she was a gambling addict, and they should have stepped in on her behalf.

Paul O'Gara, an a lawyer specializing in Atlantic City gambling issues, said it will be difficult for Taveras to prove the casinos knew she had a problem but ignored it.

"How are you supposed to know whether this was a woman who was just having a good time, or had money and was just lonely, as opposed to someone who couldn't control themselves?" he said.

With Post Wire Services

jennifer.fermino@nypost.com


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  #2  
Old 03-12-2008, 02:26 PM
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That's like an alcoholic suing MD 20/20 or Thunderbird because they drank. Give me a break....I hope it gets thrown out of court.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2008, 02:27 PM
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Hey, taking responsibility for her own actions isn't going to get those bills paid off . . .
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:41 PM
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I don't get it, so a casino which is in the business of taking away your money, house, etc should stop her from gambling? If she had won 3million at the tables should they not pay her because the dealer's feet hurt?

She needs to stop contemplating suicide and pull the trigger! Then her heirs could sue S&W for making the gun!
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:46 PM
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There you go!
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:36 PM
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Let me summarize her theory: "I'm an idiot and have no self control. And it's all your fault." Sounds good to me.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:28 AM
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The poor girl has had years of education where the emphasis was on her self-image, rather than logical argument.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2008, 07:11 AM
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It's the American way lately,, it seems....

We need to step back in time.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2008, 08:06 AM
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Isn't this all a result of the Bush administration's emphasis on greed and corruption...

Yeah that's it, it is "W's" fault!



I still think her suicide thoughts are the right ones...
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:50 PM
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Wow, I can't see that case getting any serious attention.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPokey View Post
Let me summarize her theory: "I'm an idiot and have no self control. And it's all your fault." Sounds good to me.
Par for the course in our society. I deal with it every day.
- I was driving along and the tire just "blew up'. It has to be defective.
The fact that you hit a pothole at 70mph has nothing to do with it.

- What do you mean the MMI control is going to cost $1000 ?!?! The truck is 3 weeks old ?
Yes it is but Budweiser isn't original equipment from Germany. The "defective beer" didn't spill on the MMI controls all on it's own.

And the one that takes over the Number 1 spot from "Doesn't my lease cover that ?" is: (phone call)

- Hi, I'm driving one of your cars and I had an accident. How do you guys take care of that ?
It's one of our loaner cars ?
- No, I lease the car from you so it's your car. Do you have a contract with a body shop that can fix the car ?
Um, no mam. It's your car. You make the payments, you pay the insurance. Your lease is merely your contract with the finance company. Free body shop repairs are not included in any lease I've ever heard of. I can recommend a body shop for you.

I drive the car but it's your fault for any single thing that happens to it.......
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:16 PM
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Not that I have any feelings of support towards the lawyer lady, but.......

How is this any different than the tobacco company lawsuits? Courts have held again and again that smoker's addiction is at least partially the tobacco company's responsibility....
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonajim View Post
...How is this any different than the tobacco company lawsuits? Courts have held again and again that smoker's addiction is at least partially the tobacco company's responsibility....
I don't know the details of the tobacco litigation, but at least those cases involved deception by the tobacco companies. Maybe the tobacco plaintiffs didn't deserve compensation, or maybe they did, I don't know, but the tobacco companies definitely deserved to pay. I don't see the same logic applying to casinos, unless there is more to the story.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonajim View Post
Not that I have any feelings of support towards the lawyer lady, but.......

How is this any different than the tobacco company lawsuits? Courts have held again and again that smoker's addiction is at least partially the tobacco company's responsibility....
I will bet that is how she goes...then when she has 4 BILLION dollars she will be the one laughing!
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2008, 02:24 PM
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I don't think casinos will be paying class action awards until there's a genetic/medical link that gambling is an addiction caused by placing poker chips between your fingers. Tobacco companies knowingly misinformed everyone about the addictive qualities of tobacco. I haven't read the surgeon general's report on poker chips yet..

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