A unanimous United States Supreme Court says that Native American tribes' immunity from lawsuits does not always extend to their employees in incidents that occur far from Indian reservations.
The justices ruled Tuesday in the case, Lewis v. Clarke, that involved a limo driver who rear-ended a car on Interstate 95 in Norwalk.
The court revived a state court civil lawsuit filed by the injured occupants of the car.
The case had been dismissed because the limo driver works for a native American tribe with a casino in the state. Court documents say he was transporting patrons to their homes when the crash happened.
Native American tribes are like foreign governments in that they generally can't be sued in American courts.
"The judgment of the Supreme Court of Connecticut is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion," The opinion states.
But Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court that in cases like the one from Connecticut, "the tribe's sovereign immunity is not implicated."
New Justice Neil Gorsuch did not take part.