Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada

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The Supreme Court held that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s special motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint filed under Nev. Rev. Sta. 41.660(1), Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute, holding that an attorney’s statement on a website summarizing a jury’s verdict was not a statement in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a judicial body. Under section 41.660(1), a defendant may file a special motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s complaint if the complaint is based on a defendant’s “good faith communication in furtherance of the right to petition or the right to free speech in direct connection with an issue of public concern,” including a “statement made in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a…judicial body.” Plaintiff brought an action asserting defamation per se for the attorney’s statement on a website. The district court denied Defendant’s special motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statement was not protected under section 41.660. View "Patin v. Lee" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed a district court order denying a pro se plaintiff’s (Plaintiff) motion to set aside the judgment under Nev. R. Civ. P. 60(b) that was filed five months and three weeks after the court dismissed Plaintiff’s case, holding that the district court’s decision was not an abuse of discretion. Plaintiff sued Fiesta Palms, LLC (Defendant) for injuries he sustained at the Fiesta Palms sportsbook. Plaintiff appeared pro se at several hearings. The district court eventually granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss in an order stating that Defendant’s motion was unopposed and therefore deemed meritorious. Five months and three weeks later, Plaintiff moved to set aside the district court’s order of dismissal pursuant to Rule 60(b), recounting his efforts to obtain legal representation. The district court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying relief to Plaintiff, an unrepresented litigant who knowingly neglected procedural requirements and then failed promptly to move for relief. View "Rodriguez v. Fiesta Palms, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this workers’ compensation case, the Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Employer, holding that an injury arising from Employer’s failure to provide medical assistance to Employee suffering a stroke arose out of and in the course of the employment, and therefore, Employee’s sole remedy for the injury was workers’ compensation. Employee sued Employer for failure to aid him during the “golden window” of diagnostic and treatment opportunity when he was suffering a stroke. The district court granted summary judgment for Employer, concluding that Employee’s exclusive remedy was workers’ compensation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Employee’s exclusive remedy against Employer was workers’ compensation because his injuries occurred in the course of his employment and arose out of his employment. View "Baiguen v. Harrah’s Las Vegas, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that district court cannot deny attorney fees otherwise allowed by agreement, rule, or statute because a lawyer representing a client on a contingency fee basis does not provide proof of hourly billing records. Plaintiff sought an attorney fees award under Nev. R. Civ. P. 68 after suing Defendant for negligence after she tripped and fell on Defendant’s property. Plaintiff requested $96,000 in attorney fees, which she calculated as forty percent of the reduced judgment amount based on a forty-percent contingency fee agreement with her attorneys. The district court denied her request because, in part, Plaintiff did not submit hourly billing records of the work performed by her counsel to show that the requested fee was reasonable. The Supreme Court reversed the denial of Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees and remanded for a full hearing on the request, holding (1) a lawyer who represents a client on a contingency fee basis need not submit hourly billing records before he or she can be awarded attorney fees; and (2) the district court improperly analyzed certain factors set forth in Beattie v. Thomas, 668 P.2d 268, 274 (Nev. 1983) in otherwise denying Plaintiff’s fees request. View "O’Connell v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that the district court erred by granting summary judgment based upon discretionary-act immunity in this action arising from a vehicular accident involving a police officer responding to an emergency. A police officer collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle while responding to an emergency call early one morning. Plaintiff sued the officer and the City of North Las Vegas, alleging negligence and vicarious liability. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendants, concluding that the doctrine of discretionary-act immunity provided them with qualified immunity. In resolving this appeal, the Supreme Court considered the tension between Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.032(2), which provides immunity to government officials acting within their discretionary purview, and Nev. Rev. Stat. 484B.700, which allows a police officer to proceed past a red traffic signal in an emergency subject to certain conditions. The Court held (1) the discretionary-act immunity is unavailable in this case because the language of section 484B.700(4) mandates that the police officer drive with due regard for the safety of others, and this duty is not discretionary; and (2) the police officer in the instant case breached section 484B.700(4)’s duty of care. View "Glover-Armont v. Cargile" on Justia Law

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The common law absolute privilege has been abrogated by the statutory conditional privilege in Nev. Rev. Stat. 616D.020 in the context of defamatory statements in a workers’ compensation claim to which section 616D.020 is applicable. Appellant filed a complaint against Respondents, the company that employed him and the company's owner, for defamation. The allegedly defamatory statements regarded Appellant’s alleged abuse of the workers’ compensation program to obtain prescription pain medication, a violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 616D.300. Respondents filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(5). The district court granted the motion, concluding that Respondents’ statements were absolutely privileged. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in concluding that all of Respondents’ statements were absolutely privileged justifying dismissal of the complaint, as a matter of law, without considering the impact of the conditional privilege provided in section 616D.020. View "Fitzgerald v. Mobile Billboards, LLC" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether seven managers of an LLC were subject to suit for personal negligence as individual tortfeasors or under an alter ego theory of liability. Petitioners brought a negligence suit against an LLC and its two LLC managing members (the member LLCs). Petitioners subsequently moved for leave to amend their complaint to add as individual defendants seven persons who had an ownership interest in, or managed, the member LLCs. Petitioners sought to assert direct claims for negligence against the managers in their individual capacities and sought to plead allegations supporting an alter ego theory of liability. The district court denied Petitioners’ motion, concluding that amendment would be futile because Nev. Rev. Stat. 86.371 protected the managers from any liabilities insured by the various LLCs, and Nevada’s LLC statues contained no alter ego exception to that statutory protection. The Supreme Court granted writ relief for Petitioners and directed that Petitioners be allowed to amend their complaint, holding (1) section 86.371 is not intended to shield members or managers of an LLC for liability for personal negligence; and (2) the corporate alter ego doctrine applies to LLCs. View "Gardner v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment on a jury’s negligence verdict awarding past and future medical damages to a former middle school student who sustained an eye injury during his physical education class. On appeal, Appellant-school district argued that the judgment should be reversed because (1) the implied assumption of risk doctrine barred Respondent’s claims; (2) Respondent’s claims should have been dismissed under the discretionary-function immunity doctrine; and (3) the evidence did not support a finding of proximate cause. The Supreme Court held (1) the implied assumption of risk doctrine did not apply in this case; (2) the doctrine of discretionary-function immunity applied to the school district’s decisions to add floor hockey as a unit of the physical education curriculum and to not provide safety equipment, but the school district was not immune for liability for allegedly negligent administration, instruction and supervision of the floor hockey class; and (3) Respondent failed, as a matter of law, to provide sufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding of proximate cause, and therefore, his negligence claim failed. View "Clark County School District v. Payo" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded a district court order dismissing a complaint against a medical treatment center for failure to attach a medical expert affidavit pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 41A.071. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court erred in dismissing his complaint because his claims were based in ordinary negligence and not medical malpractice, as determined by the district court, and therefore, an affidavit was not required. The Supreme Court held (1) Appellant’s claims for negligence, malpractice, gross negligence, negligence per se, and negligent hiring, training, and supervision were not for medical malpractice and should not have been dismissed for failure to attach the section 41A.071 affidavit; and (2) Appellant’s claim for professional negligence sounded in medical malpractice and was properly dismissed for failure to attach a medical expert affidavit. View "Szymborski v. Spring Mountain Treatment Center" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Respondent-casino, holding that the district court’s foreseeability analysis under Nev. Rev. Stat. 651.015 was too restrictive. Appellants sued Respondent for injuries they suffered during an altercation with another patron on Respondent’s casino floor. The district court concluded that Respondent did not owe a duty to Appellants under section 651.015 because Respondent had no “notice or knowledge” the other patron would assault Appellants. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded this matter for further proceedings, holding that the district court failed properly to consider section 651.015(3)(b) - which requires a case-by-case analysis of similar wrongful acts, including the level of violence, location of the attack, and security concerns implicated - and that the record showed Respondent’s knowledge of similar on-premises wrongful acts. View "Humphries v. New York-New York Hotel & Casino" on Justia Law