Any claim for personal injury damages alleged to have occurred on the Pechanga Indian Reservation (their resort or casino) must be brought pursuant to the Pechanga Gaming Facility Tort Liability Act (PGFTLA) of 2008.
- Continue to read and learn more about injury claims and "lawsuits" against the Pechanga Indian Reservation.
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Pechanga | Injury Producing Incidents
Any injury producing incident for which a claim is made must arise out of, be connected to, or be related to the operation of the Pechanga gaming facility or gaming activities. It is the burden of the claimant to establish that the claimant's purpose for entry onto tribal lands arose out of or was connected with or relating to the operation of the gaming facility.
Pechanga |Tribal Dispute Resolution
Upon an allegation of and/or notice of an injury, Pechanga’s claims administrator shall provide written notice to the injured claimant, by personal service or certified mail, that the claimant is required within 180 calendar days of receipt of said written notice, to proceed with the resolution process and that if they are dissatisfied with the result of the resolution process, they may request arbitration before a retired judge.
Pechanga | Timing
The period of time during which you can file an injury claim under the Act of 2008 is as follows:
- Statute of Limitations: Any injury claim must be brought within the statute of limitations applicable to such a claim under the laws of the State of California; and
- 180-days: A claimant must bring his or her Notice of Claim within 180-days of receipt of the written notice of the Tribal Dispute Resolution Process (as long as the notice requirement has been satisfied by Pechanga’s claims administrator).
Pechanga | Notice of Claim
The Notice of Claim must contain all of the following:
- The name, address, social security number and date of birth of the claimant and the name and address of the claimant's attorney, if any;
- A concise statement of the factual basis of the claim, including the date, time, place and circumstances of the act or omission;
- The name of any gaming operation employee involved, if known;
- A concise statement of the nature and the extent of the injury claimed to have been suffered; and
- A written statement of all medical damages incurred.
A statement of the exact amount of monetary damages requested. Any claim which does not comply with these requirements shall be rejected. Neither the claims administrator nor any arbitrator shall be authorized to waive a failure to fully comply with these requirements.
Service of Process: An injury claim must be brought by filing a written Notice of Claim with the Claims Administrator (P.O. Box 9041, Temecula, CA 92589) and simultaneously serving by mail the Notice of Claim upon the Pechanga Office of General Counsel (P.O. Box 1477, Temecula, CA 92593).
Pechanga | Injury Claims Administrator
Upon receipt of a Notice of Claim filed pursuant to the Act of 2008, the Claims Administrator shall investigate the claim to determine its validity. They must also investigate and the amount of damages claimed. It is a requirement of the Act that the claim’s administrator attempt in good faith to resolve the dispute.
If the claims administrator determines that the claimant has not complied with any of the jurisdictional requirements of this Act, the claims administrator shall reject the claim and shall provide notice of the rejection, and the reason therefor. A claimant may resubmit their claim if the resubmitted claim is correctly filed and served within 180 calendar days of the date of the claimant's receipt of the notice of the resolution process.
In the event that the claims administrator determines that additional evidence or documentation of actual damages is necessary for determination of the merits of a claim, the claims administrator shall mail to the claimant or claimant's representative a request for the supporting evidence or documentation that they believe is necessary. The claimant will have 60 calendar days from the mailing of the request or till the end of the 180-days of the claimant's receipt of the notice of the resolution process, whichever is earlier, to provide the requested info. The claimant may request a reasonable extension of time however this request constitutes the claimant's agreement to stay arbitration until after the end of the extension granted. A failure to respond to this request within the relevant time period shall be considered an abandonment of the claim and no relief shall be granted.
If after reviewing the claim the claims administrator and the claimant cannot come to an agreement on the amount to be awarded for the claim within 180 calendar days, the claimant shall have the right to demand arbitration.
Pechanga | Request for Arbitration
No claim shall be eligible for arbitration unless the claimant has exhausted the tribal remedies set forth in the Act. Further, no claim shall be eligible for arbitration prior to 180 calendar days from the date the Notice of Claim was filed, absent tribal consent or denial of the claim by the claims administrator.
A request for arbitration must be filed, pursuant to the requirements below, not later than:
- Where the claims administrator has denied any claim, within 30 calendar days after such denial;
- Where there has been no resolution of the claim through the claims administrator process, within 30 calendar days after the expiration of the 180 calendar days provided under this Act for the claims administrator process; or
- If any extension of the claims administrator process has been agreed upon then within 30 calendar days of the expiration of the agreed-upon extension
Service of Process: The claimant shall file a written request for arbitration with the Claims Administrator (P.O Box 9041, Temecula, CA 92589) with a copy mailed simultaneously to the Pechanga Office of General Counsel (P.O. Box 1477, Temecula, CA 92593). The request must be sent via certified mail and must be received by the claims administrator within the time frames provided in this section.
Arbitration shall proceed in Riverside County, California, before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, in accordance with the comprehensive arbitration rules and procedures of JAMS.
Ordaz Law, APC | Pechanga
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Blog: Personal Injury
Sources and Useful Links:
The Pechanga Gaming Facility Liability Act of 2008