April 25, 2017 Practice Points

SCOTUS Holds Tribal Sovereign Immunity Does Not Extend to Individual

The Court held that because the defendant was the actual party in interest, not the Mohegan tribe or one of its instrumentalities, the action could go forward.

By Sanford Hausler

On April 25, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Lewis v. Clarke, held that a negligence action brought against an individual who was employed by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authoity was not subject to dismissal under the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity. The defendant was a driver transporting patrons of the Mohegan Sun Casino. The Court held that because the defendant was the actual party in interest, not the Mohegan tribe or one of its instrumentalities, the action could go forward.

Sanford Hausler is of counsel with Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP in New York, New York.


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