Aussie suing RWS denies any offer to set him free

Mr Adesh Goel is seeking more than $400,000, saying a fracture he suffered as a result of being manhandled led to a drop in his earnings.
Mr Adesh Goel is seeking more than $400,000, saying a fracture he suffered as a result of being manhandled led to a drop in his earnings.

RWS lawyer says casino staff were ready to let him go if he agreed to leave immediately

An Australian lawyer who is suing Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) for detaining and manhandling him has denied RWS' contention that he was given a choice to be freed from the room he was held in, on condition that he leave the casino immediately.

Mr Adesh Goel, 43, who is also a venture capitalist, said yesterday that no such offer was made. If it had been, he "absolutely would have taken it".

In April 2012, he was held in a room at the casino for about an hour after an altercation with another patron over a $50 gambling chip.

The Singapore permanent resident tried to leave several times but was blocked or restrained by RWS employees or auxiliary police officers deployed to guard the casino.

The lawyer is now seeking more than $400,000, claiming that a shoulder fracture he suffered as a result of being manhandled led to a drop in his earnings.

On the third day of the hearing yesterday, RWS' lawyer, Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, said the casino's employees - who did not want him to create a ruckus in the casino - were prepared to let him out if he agreed to leave the premises completely. But Mr Goel insisted that no such offer was made to him.

Questioned by Mr Paul Seah, who represents Sats Security Services, Mr Goel admitted he drank eight double shots of whiskey during the gambling session. Sats, which provided the auxiliary police officers, has been named by RWS as a third party in the suit to bear the liability for any damages ordered.

Mr Seah contended that Mr Goel verbally abused the guards, calling them "stupid, useless and idiotic fools". Mr Goel said he could not recall the precise words, but they were to that effect. But he denied being verbally abusive.

Mr Seah contended that the only time the guards laid a hand on him was when he was making his way to the door and getting up from his chair even though he was told to sit down. But Mr Goel said it was reasonable for him to want to leave the room. It was "very harrowing and frightening" to be left alone in a room with the guards, he said.

"They should have positioned the guards outside. There was no reason to put the guards inside."

Mr Goel also responded to Mr Sreenivasan's accusations on Tuesday that he was targeting casinos for compensation.

The senior counsel had quizzed him about a 2001 claim against an Australian casino and a run-in with security officers at Marina Bay Sands in 2010.

Mr Goel, who visits casinos about 50 times in a year, said that in the past 14 years, he has not taken any other legal action to seek compensation from casinos.

The hearing continues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline 'Aussie suing RWS denies any offer to set him free'. Print Edition | Subscribe