LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A group of Las Vegas guests have filed a lawsuit against New York-New York Hotel and Casino after a live bat was found in their hotel room, a Clark County District Court document said.
The lawsuit alleges that the group from Arizona, which includes three families and four minors, had to undergo treatments after they were potentially exposed to rabies and were unable to test the bat for the disease.
The families were in town for a volleyball tournament in April 2022. The Rucker family was staying in a hotel room in New York-New York, which two children from other families visited during their stay.
On the morning of April 11, 2022, Marcus Rucker woke up after he heard a noise coming from the curtains near the window in his family’s hotel room. He found a live bat hanging on the curtains, which he then killed before putting the animal in a cup and placing it in a nearby stairwell, the document stated.
Later in the day, Rucker reported the incident to the front desk employee of the New York-New York Hotel and Casino.
The next day, on April 12, Rucker reported the incident to the Maricopa County Arizona Health Department. The lawsuit said he was told that he should have the bat tested for rabies or immediately seek treatment for exposure to rabies.
Rucker called the New York New York hotel and spoke with an employee, asking for the bat to be turned over for testing. The employee told him the bat had already been disposed by hotel employees and was not available for testing.
Rucker and his family, as well as the other two children, then had to receive treatment for “severe and prolonged exposure to a known carrier” of rabies, a lethal disease, as well as a “prolonged exposure to a contaminated area where Plaintiffs slept” because the bat could not be tested for rabies due to employees disposing of the bat.
They were required to undergo a series of injections to prevent contracting rabies, which were painful, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit states that the hotel and employees “governed the sanitation of hotel guest rooms, cleanliness of hotel guest rooms, and the extermination of vermin and pests from hotel rooms” for the health and safety of hotel guests and “prevent hotel guests from being exposed to diseases, such as rabies, from animals, vermin, and pests.”
The lawsuit alleges that policies and procedures were “insufficient and/or ineffective” to prevent the incident and that employees did not observe or follow them.
The lawsuit also alleges that the defendants should have known that a bat found in a hotel room containing guests should be preserved for testing. It stated that the due to the defendants’ failure to preserve the bat, they had to undergo medical treatment which could have been avoided had the bat been tested.
The lawsuit states that as a result of the incident, the families experienced “severe and prolonged exposure” to rabies, as well as “pain, suffering, emotional distress, medical treatment, loss of wages, time away from work and/or school.”
MGM Resorts, the operators of New York-New York Hotel and Casino, did not immediately respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
The lawsuit states that the plaintiffs are seeking at least $15,000 in damages from the incident.