Casino firm Las Vegas Sands Corp has provided no new grounds to substantiate claims a judge in the U.S. is showing bias against its interests in a lawsuit brought by a former boss of the Macau unit, said Chief District Judge David Barker of Clark County, Nevada, in a five-page ruling on Wednesday according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.
As a result, District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez – who over the course of five years has been presiding over the suit from Steve Jacobs, a former president and chief executive of Sands China Ltd – will be allowed to continue hearing the case.
“We believe this is wrong and will ask the Nevada Supreme Court to review the matter,” said Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese, as quoted by the news outlet.
“Any ruling that is adverse to them, they will then claim fault with the decision-maker,” the newspaper quoted attorney Todd Bice, who represents Mr Jacobs, as saying.
Mr Jacobs – who was dismissed in 2010 for what Sands China said was “cause” including unauthorised deal making – is claiming wrongful termination. He maintains he was removed for putting the interests of the shareholders first, and was promised, under his contract, stock worth millions of dollars, but never received anything after his sacking.
Judge Barker had in late January denied a request by Las Vegas Sands to disqualify Judge Gonzalez.
In November the Nevada Supreme Court had declined a request from the company’s lawyers to remove Judge Gonzalez from the case.
The higher court also at that time upheld a US$250,000 sanction imposed in March 2015 by the judge after she had ruled Sands China had improperly withheld documents relevant to the case.
Another issue – the question of jurisdiction – would be decided at District Court trial, according to the higher court’s November order. Judge Gonzalez had barred Sands China from calling witnesses during court hearings relating to the jurisdiction issue.
Mr Jacob’s lawyer was quoted in Wednesday’s newspaper report as saying a deposition by his client relating to the wrongful termination case began on Monday and would continue for seven days, and that the suit is set to go to trial on June 27.
Since December 10 the Las Vegas Review-Journal has been owned by an entity controlled by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands.
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Aggregate number of licensed junkets in Macau as of January 2022