In a dramatic legal twist, the once powerful casino mogul James Packer finds himself embroiled in yet another lawsuit. Dr. Iskandar Chaban, a security guard employed by Crown Melbourne, has reignited his claim that he was assaulted by Packer on New Year’s Day of 2016. Chaban asserts that not only was he subjected to a physical altercation with Packer, who was incensed at not being recognized and subsequently mistaken for an intoxicated individual, but also that ensuing legal fees agreed upon in a prior settlement have gone unpaid.
According to documents filed with the court, Dr. Chaban details a heated encounter with the billionaire in which he was verbally accosted, forcefully pushed in the chest, and ominously threatened with job termination. This altercation reportedly occurred when Chaban, executing his duties as a security guard, barred Packer from entering the casino under the impression that Packer was inebriated.
The settlement, which was reached out of court and on the eve of the slated trial last year, promised Chaban $100,000 in addition to coverage of his legal expenditures. Chaban’s legal team now claims that Packer and Crown Resorts have neglected to fulfill their financial obligations from that settlement, leaving the plaintiff out of pocket to the tune of $262,000.
James Packer, once a towering figure over the Crown Resorts domain, has since retreated from the casino industry, having divested his controlling interest in the company to Blackstone for a staggering $3.3 billion in 2022. At the time of the purported confrontation, Packer was not only at the helm of his casino empire, but also in the limelight for his relationship with pop superstar Mariah Carey.
The altercation and its fallout have left indelible marks on Dr. Chaban, who, after the incident, was subjected to further indignities by casino management and has since been diagnosed with PTSD. He suffers from neck and back injuries which he attributes to the fracas with Packer.
With both parties summoned to mediation by the Victorian Supreme Court in the coming month, Crown Resorts, through public statements, maintains that it has not defaulted on the settlement, which was discreetly agreed upon without an admission of liability. The impasse persists over the legal costs, awaiting court judgment to resolve the matter.
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