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Fake Person, Real Injury? Man Claims He Was Hurt Fleeing Mannequin

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on May 31, 2017 7:00 AM

The Planet Hollywood casino-hotel in Las Vegas is known for its memorabilia. Autographed wardrobe items, set pieces, and other film collectibles line the casino and adorn hotel room walls. But apparently one of those relics got a little too real for one guest.

Kent Jacobs Boutwell thought a life-sized mannequin wearing a "Miller Lite" racing suit was a life-threatening intruder and sent him racing from his room, suffering injuries to his "body, limbs, organs and nervous system," that might be "permanent and disabling."

The Reasonable Man

Boutwell is suing Planet Hollywood, claiming that "the presence of a life-sized human figure in a darkened room was a dangerous and/or hazardous condition," and that the hotel "failed to place signs, caution, warn, or otherwise make safe, the Dangerous Condition existing on or about the Premises."

Not only is Boutwell suing for negligence, he also claims Planet Hollywood is liable for assault, because it "intentionally placed a mannequin dressed in human clothing in the guest room assigned to plaintiff" and "created the situation that caused plaintiff to feel apprehension of harmful of offensive contact." Though the mannequin was encased in a glass cabinet, Boutwell claims he "reasonably believed that the human figure placed in the guest room by defendant would cause him bodily injury and harm."

Malicious Mannequin

While the lawsuit doesn't list his injuries specifically, Boutwell is asking for at least $10,000 in general and special damages, based on medical treatment, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life. The suit also requests over $10,000 in punitive damages against Planet Hollywood, claiming the hotel's conduct was "willful, intentional, oppressive, malicious, and done in a wanton and reckless disregard" for his rights.

Boutwell is also seeking attorneys' fees. "I've got some experience handling hotel casino cases," Boutwell's lawyer, Richard Johnson, told the AP. "This was certainly a new set of facts."

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