A California couple has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court alleging negligence and claiming serious injuries after a woman said she was hit by a drone that fell from the sky during an Independence Day fireworks show.
It was supposed to be a fun Independence Day celebration: dinner and fireworks at the Caesars Palace hotel-casino in Las Vegas. Monika and Joseph Nourmand said they were looking forward to the festivities and were surprised when they realized the party included a drone light show. They said 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 said 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," said attorney Robert Glassman. "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."
The drone company and the drone operate both declined to comment. Court documents reveal both denied the allegations against them and said they were in compliance with FAA regulations. Caesars has not commented either.