Lost in news accounts of a recent court filing characterizing the woman accusing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of sexual assault as a “woman scorned” is that the same filing opposes a motion by the accuser to join Harrah’s as a defendant.
In other words, the plaintiff, who initially did not sue Harrah’s, is now attempting to do so.
We’ve confirmed via a source with knowledge of the case that, indeed, the accuser is now attempting to sue Harrah’s.
Gregg Rosenthal, whose efforts were instrumental in our ability to break the story of the civil suit in July, had been hearing that the claim against Harrah’s was coming, but we had been unable to substantiate it.
The motion apparently comes after Roethlisberger’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit because the accuser had failed to sue an “indispensable” party to the controversy — Harrah’s.
And it might be that this was a rope-a-dope tactic aimed at securing an outright victory. The argument will be, based on a 2005 case from the Nevada Supreme Court, that the state workers’ compensation laws provide the exclusive remedy for the injuries that the accuser allegedly suffered.
The open question is whether the exclusivity applies only to Harrah’s and its employees, or whether the perpetrator of the alleged assault — Roethlisberger — benefits from the exclusivity, too.
Moreover, it’s unclear why the accuser’s co-workers would choose to fight the attempt to join Harrah’s, if joining Harrah’s provides a silver bullet.
Still, the bottom line is that Harrah’s is now potentially on the hook, which likely makes a quick and easy resolution only more difficult for Roethlisberger to obtain.