--- Am. Tribal Law ----, 2023 WL 3303512 (Cherokee Sup.Ct.)
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Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation.
LOSA KELEK, Appellant,
Case No.: SC-2022-02
May 8, 2023



Opinion by: John C. Garrett, Chief Justice

This case comes before this Court wherein the Plaintiff/Appellant, Losa Kelek, is appealing the District Court’s granting the Defendant/Appellee’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The review of this matter is de novo.

The facts of this case are as follows:

The Appellant secured a room at the Cherokee Nation Casino hotel in Siloam Springs. After spending time on the casino floor, he proceeded to his hotel room. According to the Appellant, he retired for the evening and sometime later another guest of the hotel entered Appellant’s room and began fondling him. Shortly thereafter, according to the security camera, both parties exited the room, only to reenter the room for a brief time before exiting for a second time. The Appellant calls security and front desk and after review it was discovered that the desk clerk mistakenly issued a key to the Appellant’s room to another guest.

According to the Appellant after the incident, he went to the emergency room in Rogers, Arkansas. But left before being seen by a doctor. Appellant states that no further medical treatment was ever sought. Appellant further testified that at trial he would not present any medical evidence other than his own lay opinion.

This appears to be a case of first impression in the Cherokee Nation court system therefore we must look to other jurisdictions for laws and authority covering this subject. Two cases addressing this issue can be found in Griffin v. City of Oklahoma City 2F.3d 1160 (10th Cir. 1993) and Ellington v. Coca Cola Bottling of Tulsa 1986 Ok. 11,717 P.2d 109. Each holding that “recovery for mental distress can only be had when the mental distress is connected to physical injury. Such recovery is warranted only upon testimony of an expert to causally connect the emotional injury to the physical injury.

The Court when considering a Motion for Summary Judgment must consider the facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. It appears that the District Court correctly considered all the facts and determined that the Motion for Summary Judgment should be sustained. This Court agrees.


John C. Garrett, Chief Justice

Shawna S. Baker, Justice

Mark L. Dobbins, Justice


All Citations
--- Am. Tribal Law ----, 2023 WL 3303512