Miss. Supreme Court delays jackpot dispute hearing

Published 11:43 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Mississippi Supreme Court has postponed arguments in a gambler’s dispute with IP Casino over a $1 million slot machine jackpot.

Oral arguments were scheduled for Tuesday. The court decided to hear the matter later, but did not set a date.

Florida Eash was playing the $5 Double Top Dollar machine in 2006 when it indicated she won $1 million. IP officials, however, told Eash a technician accidentally programmed the machine to pay more than it should have — a $1 million progressive jackpot.

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The casino said it only owed Eash $8,000, which was the top winning amount advertised on the machine’s sign. The Mississippi Gaming Commission sided with Eash in the dispute, but the casino went to court and in 2007 Harrison County Circuit Judge Roger Clark sided with IP.

Eash appealed. The case has made its way to the state’s highest court.

The Supreme Court also postponed two other cases that were scheduled for arguments next week — a death row appeal and a lawsuit involving the city of Jackson and a community it wants to annex.

A new date for arguments in the appeal of death row inmate Joseph Bishop Goff has not been set. Goff, a Theodore, Ala., man, was sentenced to death in George County in 2005 for the slaying of Brandy Stewart Yates at a George County motel.

Arguments in the lawsuit involving the city of Jackson and a nearby community were rescheduled for Jan. 9. Jackson is appealing a decision that would allow residents of the community of Byram to incorporate into a town of about 20 square miles.

Jackson officials and Byram community residents have been battling in court for more than a decade over the land in southern Hinds County. The 20 square miles that Byram would incorporate, if the ruling is upheld, is about four more square miles than Jackson officials said they anticipated.