Plaintiffs agree to arbitration, suspend lawsuits against Adelson

Agreements have been reached to suspend legal proceedings in three bitterly fought federal lawsuits against casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his companies.

Both sides plan to resolve the disputes through binding arbitration, according to the agreements, which were filed earlier this month.

The plaintiffs in two of the lawsuits involve current and former members of Adelson's elite personal protection team. A group of security agents sued to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime they claim they are owed. Several African-American agents separately filed a discrimination complaint accusing Adelson's casino companies of failing to promote any of them to supervisory positions.

A former personal driver for Adelson and his family also sued to collect overtime.

Lawyers for both sides have "streamlined the issues" in the three disputes and expect to go to arbitration the "second half of June," the agreements said. The lawsuits would be dismissed after the arbitrator, former U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Leavitt, issues his decisions.

The agreements were ironed out by the law firms Campbell & Williams, which is representing the Adelson employees, and Lionel, Sawyer & Collins, which is handling Adelson and his companies. Senior District Judge Philip Pro already has approved the agreement in his case. The other two judges have not yet acted.

In August, Pro blocked a move by Las Vegas Sands officials to transfer several of the highly trained protection agents suing for overtime to routine uniformed duties. The judge ordered both sides to work out suitable plainclothes assignments for the agents, who had been protecting Adelson's wife and children.

Then in December, a federal magistrate judge found that Adelson and one of his lawyers had obstructed a deposition in the case involving the gaming mogul's personal driver. The deposition was cut short after Adelson, with advice from the lawyer, ducked key questions.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@review or 702-380-8135.