Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Barton doctrine is extended to a court-appointed accountant in the capacity of a special master, thus requiring an individual to seek leave of the appointing court prior to filing suit in a non-appointing court against a court-appointed special master for actions taken in the scope of his court-derived authority. Larry Bertsch and his accounting firm (collectively, Bertsch) were appointed as special master in a lawsuit between Vion Operations, LLC and Jay Bloom (the Lion litigation). The district court later discharged Bertsch from his duties as special master. When the Vion litigation was dismissed, Bloom filed the underlying complaint against Bertsch alleging, inter alia, gross negligence and fraudulent concealment based on Bertsch’s allegedly wrongful actions in the Vion litigation. Bertsch filed a motion to dismiss, which the district court denied. Bertsch petitioned for a writ of mandamus arguing, in part, that Bloom’s complaint was jurisdictionally improper because Bloom did not first seek leave of the appointing court before instituting the underlying action. The Supreme Court granted the motion, holding that Bloom must first have filed a motion with the appointing court in order to sue Bertsch personally. View "Bertsch v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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Future medical expenses are a category of damages to which Nev. R. Civ. P. 16.1(a)(1)(C)’s computation “of any category of damages claimed” requirement applies, and a plaintiff is not excused of complying with the rule because the plaintiff’s treating physician has indicated in medical records that future medical care is necessary. Respondents were injured in a car wreck with Appellant and filed the underlying negligence action. As part of their initial disclosures, Respondents provided Appellant with a computation of their past medical expenses and medical records but did not provide Appellant with a cost computation of future medical damages. Consequently, Appellant filed a motion in liming seeking to prevent Respondents from introducing evidence at trial in support of Respondents' future medical expenses. The district court denied the motion, and the jury rendered a verdict in favor of Respondents. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court erred in permitting Respondents to introduce evidence in support of their future medical damages where Respondents failed to provide Appellant with a computation of those damages; but (2) Appellant’s substantial rights were not materially affected so as to warrant a new trial. View "Pizarro-Ortega v. Cervantes-Lopez" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Respondent sued Appellant for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident. An arbitrator found in favor of Appellant and awarded him damages. After a trial de novo, a jury found in favor of Respondent and awarded him damages. Because Respondent’s award failed to exceed the arbitration award by twenty percent, Respondent was liable for Appellant’s attorney fees and costs. The short trial judge offset the damages and attorney fees and costs awards and entered a net judgment in favor of Appellant. After Respondent failed to pay the judgment, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended Respondent’s driving privileges until the judgment was satisfied under Nev. Rev. Stat. 485.302. Respondent requested an administrative hearing to contest the suspension, arguing that section 485.302 did not apply because he was not an uninsured driver and the judgment was not for personal injury or property damages. An administrative law judge agreed with Respondent and dismissed and rescinded the suspension. Appellant filed a petition for judicial review. The district court denied the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the judgment for attorney fees and costs was not a “judgment” for purposes of chapter 485; and (2) therefore, the DMV was not required to suspend Respondent’s driving privileges upon receipt of the judgment. View "Simmons v. Briones" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Howard Shapiro petitioned a New Jersey court to appoint him as conservator for his father. Respondents - Glen, Rhoda, Lynn, and Michelle Welt - opposed the petition. Howard and Jenna Shapiro (together, Appellants) filed a complaint alleging, inter alia, defamation for statements the Welts made on their website during the course of the conservatorship matter. The district court granted the Welts’ motion to dismiss, concluding that Appellants’ complaint was filed in an attempt to prevent a good-faith communication in connection with an issue of public concern under Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.637(4). The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded, holding (1) section 41.637 is not unconstitutionally vague; (2) the district court must analyze statements made in relation to a conservatorship action under guiding principles enunciated in California law to determine if a statement is an issue of public interest under section 41.637(4); and (3) the district court must conduct a case-specific, fact-intensive inquiry that balances the underlying principles of the absolute litigation privilege as enunciated by Jacobs v. Adelson before determining whether a party has met their burden for proving a likelihood of success on the merits. View "Shapiro v. Welt" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Michael Adams died after striking Susan Fallini’s cow while driving on a portion of highway designated as open range. Adams’ estate sued Fallini for negligence. The district court entered a final judgment against Fallini for $1,294,041. Thereafter, Fallini brought a motion pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 60(b), contending that the district court should set aside the judgment because the Estate’s counsel committed a fraud upon the court. The district court granted the motion. Fallini then filed a motion for entry of final argument, arguing that Nev. Rev. Stat. 568.360 provided a complete defense to the Estate’s claims. The district court granted the motion and dismissed the action. The Estate appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) this court had jurisdiction to consider challenges to the district court’s Rule 60(b) order in this appeal; (2) the district court did not err in addressing the merits of Fallini’s the Rule 60(b) motion; and (3) under the circumstances of this case, the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting relief based on fraud upon the court. View "Estate of Adams v. Fallini" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was later converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Prior to filing, Appellant was involved in two personal injury cases. As part of his bankruptcy proceedings, Appellant claimed two personal injury exemptions, one for the personal injury settlement stemming from a dog attack and another stemming from an automobile accident. The bankruptcy court certified to the Supreme Court the question of whether a debtor is entitled to more than one personal injury exemption under Nev. Rev. Stat. 21.090(1)(u) if the debtor has more than one personal injury accident. The Supreme Court held that section 21.090(1)(u) entitles a debtor to an exemption for each personal injury claim, on a per-claim basis. View "Kaplan v. Dutra" on Justia Law

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Appellants filed this personal injury action against Jane Liles and her daughter, Susan Liles, for damages arising from a car accident in Nevada. Both Jane and Susan were California residents. At issue in this case was whether Jane, a nonresident defendant, was subject to personal jurisdiction in Nevada. The district court granted Jane’s motion to dismiss the complaint due to lack of personal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Jane was not subject to personal jurisdiction in Nevada by virtue of (i) Susan’s unilateral use in Nevada of the vehicle involved in the car accident, (ii) the accident arising from Susan’s use of the vehicle, or (iii) Jane's motion to consolidate in a Nevada court the several cases stemming from the accident; but (2) Jane might be subject to jurisdiction in Nevada based on an interpleader action filed in Nevada by Jane’s insurance company. Remanded.View "Dogra v. Liles" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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Petitioners were sued by Investors who alleged that Petitioners had breached various statutory, contractual, and fiduciary duties. Petitioners filed numerous counterclaims alleging (1) Dana Gentry, a local television reporter, helped Investors investigate and prepare their lawsuit in order to manufacture news stories intended to embarrass Petitioners; and (2) Gentry received personal favors from Investors in connection with the news stories. During discovery, Petitioners served a subpoena on Gentry requesting information relating to Gentry's relationship with Investors. Gentry filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that the information sought was protected by Nevada's news shield statute, which protects journalists from being required to reveal information gathered in their professional capacities in the course of developing news stories. The district court granted the motion to quash. The Supreme Court denied Petitioners' petition for extraordinary relief, concluding that Gentry's motion to quash the subpoena properly asserted the news shield privilege and that Petitioners failed to overcome this privilege.View "Aspen Fin. Servs., Inc. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

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Raymond Yeghiazarian died from injuries after colliding with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Officer Jared Wicks. Raymond's wife and her son and two daughters (collectively, the Yeghiazarian family) filed a complaint against LVMPD and Officer Wicks, alleging negligence resulting in Raymond's death. After a trial, the jury found Officer Wicks was seventy-five percent negligent and Raymond was twenty-five percent negligent. The district court subsequently issued a judgment against LVMPD for $250,000 and awarded the Yeghiazarian family attorney fees and costs. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion by excluding evidence of Raymond's alcohol consumption prior to the accident; (2) did not abuse its discretion in permitting the Yeghiazarian family's expert to testify; (3) correctly calculated damages; and (4) did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney fees. View "Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep't v. Yeghiazarian" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury