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It’s certainly a tragedy when a resident of Las Vegas or Clark County dies in an accident. But from a public relations perspective, it’s even worse when a tourist visiting the area loses his or her life while on vacation. That’s because these stories tend to get more attention from the media, which can cast the Valley in a bad light – even if the accident victim appeared to be the only person involved.

One such story was reported in the Las Vegas Sun this past Wednesday. A man from Colorado who was vacationing on the Strip died after falling nine stories from a balcony at the Hard Rock Hotel. The victim was identified as 38-year old Jim Herman from Eagle, Colorado.

According to authorities, Herman was sitting on the railing of the hotel balcony around 7pm Monday night when he lost his balance and tumbled over the side. He was transported to Sunrise Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time after his arrival.

It is possible that Herman’s family members might attempt to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Hard Rock. But it’s unclear as to what the outcome might be. Presumably, the hotel does not encourage its patrons to sit on the railings of balconies that are several stories above ground level. Nevertheless, the plaintiffs may try to claim that the hotel was negligent in its duties to protect the well-being of its guests. In cases like this, it is difficult to predict what a jury might conclude. Often, these cases are settled out of court in order to avoid a prolonged trial and a possible multi-million dollar judgment.