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Riverboat Card Dealer Loses Hand to Casino

(CN) - A riverboat casino card dealer who suffered a heart attack after taking steroids to treat flea bites can't demand damages from the casino as a Jones Act "seaman," the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Tina Conder began working at Caesar's Glory of Rome riverboat casino in 2002. One year later, she suffered flea bites on the job on multiple occasions.

Conder was prescribed large doses of steroids to treat her adverse reaction to the flea bites, and she later suffered a heart attack. She sued the casino for damages as a Jones Act seaman, and the trial court ruled in her favor.

On appeal, Chief Judge John Baker reversed the decision, ruling that the casino did not qualify as a navigable vessel, and therefore Conder did not qualify as a seaman.

"The riverboat's operations are gaming related, rather than maritime in nature, and that has been the case since 2002. Conder, as a table games dealer, is simply not an employee who is regularly -- or at all -- exposed to the special hazards and disadvantages to which they who go down to sea in ships are subjected," Baker wrote.

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