Brooks Robinson seeks $9.9 million from Seminole Tribe of Fla.

Attorney asking tribe to waive immunity after Hall of Fame baseball player's fall at Seminole Hard Rock

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter , Associated Press
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Hall of Fame baseball player Brooks Robinson is seeking a settlement of $9.9 million from the Seminole Tribe of Florida over injuries he suffered in a 2012 fall from a stage at the tribe's South Florida casino.

Attorney Jack Hickey is asking the tribe to waive its immunity for Robinson, who otherwise might be limited to $200,000 in a lawsuit.

In a letter to the tribe released Monday, Hickey said the stage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino from which Robinson fell had no back railing. Hickey blames the tribe for negligence.

In 2012, Robinson fell from the stage while raising money for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. Hickey said his client "thought that there must be a wall behind this walkway on the stage, reached for the wall and fell."

Robinson was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Hickey said the 76-year-old Baltimore Orioles great suffered brain and back injuries. He said Robinson has numerous lingering health problems and had to limit paid and charity appearances, as well as exercise and travel.

"Most of it is just in the loss of enjoyment of life," Hickey said.

In part because of tribal immunity, the Seminoles have a cap on damages, which Hickey said is not enough to pay Robinson's medical bills.

"I think it's just horrible," Hickey said.

Former state Senate President Steve Gellar said the Seminole Tribe is "more like a sovereign state" and not bound to Florida law.

Gellar said any change in the Seminole gaming compact would have to be agreed upon by the tribe.

"So unless they voluntarily agree, you can't make them," he said.

A tribe spokesman said the cap is firmly in place, but the tribe is open to negotiations with Robinson.

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