- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The Nevada Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that awarded $6.6 million to a man injured while watching Monday Night Football at the Palms casino.

A three-justice panel issued the ruling Thursday, saying the lower court improperly allowed some witnesses and excluded others. The case, originally handled by District Court Judge Jessie E. Walsh, will be sent back to the lower court and assigned to a different judge.

The case stems from an incident Nov. 22, 2004, when patron Enrique Rodriguez was watching New England play Kansas City at the Las Vegas casino’s sports book. An actress dressed as a cheerleader was throwing prizes to the crowd, and an empty water bottle emblazoned with the Palms logo landed near Rodriguez.

An unidentified female patron dove to grab the water bottle, hitting Rodriguez’s knee.

Rodriguez later sued over the injury, which his attorney said required two surgeries, caused back problems and may cause him pain for the rest of his life.

The lawsuit claimed the casino didn’t properly instruct Brandy Beavers, the contracted “Palms Girl” tossing the souvenirs, and didn’t have adequate crowd-control policies in place.

Walsh ruled in favor of Rodriguez in a nonjury trial in 2010. His award included $3 million for past and future pain and suffering, more than $700,000 for past and future lost income, and nearly $400,000 in medical expenses.

But the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that the district court was wrong to exclude testimony from a security official that would have been favorable to the Palms, and improperly included testimony from a doctor who treated Rodriguez but had not signed on to testify more broadly as an expert witness.

Officials from the Palms declined to comment on the ruling, saying they do not comment on pending litigation.

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