Former Head of Vegas Hard Rock Settles Overdose Wrongful Death Lawsuit

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - unless someone dies.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that Ed Scheetz, former CEO of the Morgans Hotel Group which manages the Hard Rock hotel and casino, has settled a lawsuit filed against him by the family of his former girlfriend, Michelle Hatchel, who died of a drug overdose in 2007 at the age of 23.

The lawsuit claimed that the sex-and-drugs lifestyle of Scheetz, 42, led to the overdose death of Hatchel. It alleges that Hatchel received the cocaine and oxycodone that killed her from Scheetz and that she was "assaulted and battered" by Scheetz prior to her death. The Morgans Hotel Group was also listed as a defendant and accused of condoning Scheetz's lifestyle.

The suit stated the following: "A part of the Hard Rock marketing’s strategy its target demographic patrons included hedonistic sexually permissive and promiscuous lifestyle which also included use of illegal and/or illegally obtained ... controlled substances including but not limited to cocaine and oxycodone and as CEO of said named corporate defendants, defendant Scheetz's own lifestyle ... was a living example of said Hard Rock image and all of his actions, inactions, and/or omissions herein were within the course and scope of his employment."

The wrongful death lawsuit further claimed that Scheetz had taken advantage of an emotionally vulnerable Hatchel and lured her into a life of drug abuse.

The lawsuit, which sought $645 million in damages, was dismissed on January 7 after being settled. Attorneys for Scheetz said, "In August 2007 Michelle Hatchel died of a drug overdose. Her life and death were tragic. Even though our client was never served with legal papers and three of the four plaintiffs had no legal standing to bring a wrongful death suit, our client and his business associates decided to settle the lawsuit to bring closure to the Hatchel family and to end the slanderous and bogus accusations against Ed Scheetz by the plaintiffs’ attorney and consultant."

The Sun revealed some odd conditions surrounding Hatchel's death: "It said in the summer of 2007, Hatchel was flown to New York to be with Scheetz on a flight arranged by Scheetz's secretary at Morgans and then was flown to Las Vegas on Morgans' private jet. After arriving in Las Vegas, Scheetz was spending time with both Hatchel and an ex-girlfriend of Scheetz and in phone calls and text messages to friends, Hatchel expressed unhappiness with the ex-girlfriend's presence and feared for her safety, the lawsuit charges. The ex-girlfriend was also named as a defendant in the now-dismissed suit."

Hatchel family attorneys could not be reached for comment. Scheetz resigned from his position as CEO three weeks after Hatchel's death.

Have you lost a loved one in a wrongful death? If so, contact a Georgia wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. A legal investigation may reveal more facts about the cause of death. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.