Usually, people who get injured by hazardous materials are the ones who are working around (or with) the substances themselves. However, that was not the case back on January 6 in Las Vegas when a man was walking near the Wynn resort on the Strip just after 8am.
The man became the victim of a slip-and-fall accident when he lost his balance in a puddle of sulfuric acid near the resort’s front entrance. As it turns out, the liquid was intended for the hotel’s Lake of Dreams, where it was being used to regulate the acidity of the water in the display. A pipe that was to transport the acid from the delivery truck broke, spilling about 200 gallons onto the pavement.
The victim was treated by paramedics and transported to Sunrise Hospital in stable condition. Authorities closed off part of the Strip and Wynn employees blocked the front entrance to prevent other people from not only slipping in the acid, but also from succumbing to its fumes and vapors. The roadway was finally reopened about 2½ hours later.
The unidentified man, who was a visitor to the Wynn but not staying there, seems to have a pretty good case should he choose to file a personal injury lawsuit over the slip-and-fall accident. The main question might be who would be named in such a suit: the chemical delivery company, the resort, or both. Obviously, the company who delivered the acid has an obligation not to spill it and endanger the health of bystanders – but the hotel may be found lacking in its responsibility to keep people away from hazardous materials that have been spilled on their property. It may take a judge or jury to decide to what extent (if any) both entities are liable for damages.