Lawsuit: Woman injured in face by drone at Vegas casino light show

ByJovana Lara and Vania Stuelp KABC logo
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Lawsuit: Woman injured by drone at Vegas casino party
Monika Nourmand says a drone struck her in the face at a Caesars Palace party, damaging her eyesight.

It was supposed to be a fun Independence Day celebration: dinner and fireworks at the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Monika and Joseph Nourmand say they were looking forward to the festivities and were surprised when they realized the party included a drone light show.

They say they had no warning for what would come next.

"All of a sudden, something just hit me in the face," Monika Nourmand remembers.

"The next thing I know there's blood pouring out of her eye," Monika's husband Joseph Nourmand recalls.

The Nourmands have video of the aftermath of the June 30 party. It is dark, but the drone is visible on the ground. That drone, according to the Nourmands, hit not only Monika but her mother-in-law as well.

Besides the two gashes that required stitches above and below her eye, Monika says she suffered permanent damage.

"I did lose my eyesight," Monika said. "It's blurry for me."

And being blurry causes so much trouble for her, including her ability to care for her young daughter, she said.

"We have a young woman, a new mom, who is very injured and who is going to remain injured for the rest of her life, unfortunately," the Nourmands' attorney, Robert Glassman, said. Big aluminum metal objects don't just fall out of the sky. But when they do, you just know something terrible went wrong. So here, something went wrong and we are going to hold these people responsible."

The Nourmands filed a lawsuit against Caesars Palace, the Great Lakes Drone Company and the drone operator, alleging negligence for failing to comply with federal rules and regulations that specify drones cannot be operated after dark or over a crowd of people.

"And one operator should not be flying more than one drone," Glassman asserted. "And in this case, we had one individual operating not just one drone over a crowd of people, but several drones."

An attorney for the Great Lakes Drone Company and the drone operator declined to comment on the pending litigation. But in a response to the lawsuit filed with the court, both denied the allegations against them and said they were in compliance with FAA regulations.

The attorney representing Caesars Palace has not responded to a request for comment.