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In Nevada, the elements for a claim slander of title are:

  1. Defendant makes false and malicious communications;
  2. Disparaging to one’s rights in land; and
  3. Plaintiff is damaged.

Robinson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, Case No. 2:10-CV-321 JCM , 2010 WL 2834895, *2 (D. Nev. 2010); Exec. Mgt., Ltd. v. Ticor Title Ins. Co., 962 P.2d 465, 478 (Nev. 1998).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

This is the sixth in a series of articles on doing business with Native American Tribes in Nevada.  These articles provide an overview of the political and business structures employed by Indian tribes, as well as the advantages and challenges of doing business in Indian Country.

Incentives for Doing Business With Indian Tribes

Accelerated Depreciation

Businesses operating on tribal reservations may accelerate the rate of depreciation of property used within the reservation.  Property normally depreciated over twenty years may be depreciated over twelve years.  Property normally depreciated over five years may be depreciated over three years.  Property normally depreciated over three years may be depreciated over two years. (more…)

This is the fifth in a series of articles on doing business with Native American Tribes in Nevada.  These articles provide an overview of the political and business structures employed by Indian tribes, as well as the advantages and challenges of doing business in Indian Country.

Federal Approval of Certain Contracts

The federal government must approve certain contracts involving Indian tribes or their rights, including:

  • A purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of tribal lands, or of any title or claim thereto, from any tribe to a person or entity;[1]
  • Mineral leases and agreements;[2]
  • Tribal Energy Resource Agreements for mineral energy development;[3]
  • A contract with an Indian tribe that “encumbers Indian lands for a period of 7 or more years…;”[4]
  • Leases of the surface of land held in trust for or with restricted status by and Indian or Indian Tribe;[5] and
  • Contracts relating to gaming activities, which are also subject to tribal gaming ordinances.[6]

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim strict product liability are:

  1. That the product was defective;
  2. That the defect existed when the product left the defendant’s possession;
  3. That the product was used in a manner which was reasonably foreseeable by the defendant; and
  4. That the defect was a cause of the damage or injury to the plaintiff.

NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 7.02; BAJI 9.00.

Nevada recognizes the doctrine of strict tort liability for defective products.  Valentine v. Pioneer Chlor Alkali, 109 Nev. 1107, 864 P.2d 295, 297 (1993). By this system, the courts seek to place responsibility for injuries caused by defective products wherever it will most effectively reduce the hazards to life and health inherent in the marketing of defective products. Allison v.Merck and Co., Inc., 110 Nev. 762, 878 P.2d 948, 952 (1994).   Although manufacturers are not insurers of their products, where an injury is caused by a defective product, responsibility is placed upon the manufacturer and distributor of that product.

In order to bring a successful products liability suit in Nevada, a plaintiff must prove: (1) that the product had a defect which rendered it unreasonably dangerous; (2) the defect existed at the time the product left the manufacturer; and (3) the defect caused the plaintiff’s injury.  Fyssakis v. Knight Equip. Corp.,  108 Nev. 212, 826 P.2d 570, 571 (1992).  A manufacturer or distributor is of a product is strictly liable for injuries resulting from a defect in the product that was present when it left its hands.  Ginnis v. Mappes Hotel Corp., 86 Nev. 408, 413, 470 P.2d 135, 138 (1970).

Under Nevada law, a product that does not include a warning that adequately communicates the dangers that may result from its use or foreseeable misuse, the product is defective.  Fyssakis, 826 P.2d at 572. Further, evidence that the product lacked adequate safety features or that a safe alternative design was feasible at the time of manufacture will support a strict liability claim. On the other hand, a product which bears suitable and adequate warnings concerning the safe manner in which the product is to be used, and which is safe to use if the warning is followed, is not in defective condition.  Crown Controls Corp v. Corella, 98 Nev. 35, 37, 639 P.2d 555, 557 (1982).

Purely economic losses usually are not recoverable under tort theories of negligence and strict liability.  Nat’l Union Fire Ins.  v.  Pratt & Whitney,  107 Nev. 538, 815 P.2d 601 (1991).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, all questions of statutory construction must start with the language of the statute itself.  See 2A Norman J. Singer & J.D. Shambie Singer, Statutes and Statutory Construction § 47:1, at 274–75 (7th ed. 2007) (“The starting point in statutory construction is to read and examine the text of the act and draw inferences concerning the meaning from its composition and structure.” (footnote omitted)) – as quoted by In re Nevada State Eng’r Ruling No. 5823, 277 P.3d 449 (2012).   In other words, the Court must begin its inquiry with the statute’s plain language.   Arguello v. Sunset Station, Inc., 252 P.3d 206, 209 (2011).  The Court may not look beyond the statute’s language if it is clear and unambiguous on its face.  See Washoe Med. Ctr. v. Second Jud. Dist. Ct., 122 Nev. 1298, 1302, 148 P.3d 790, 792-793 (2006).  See also Valdez v. Emp’rs Ins. Co. of Nev., 123 Nev. 170, 162 P.3d 148 (2007); Hobbs v. Nev., 127 Nev. Adv. Op. 18, 251 P.3d 177, 179 (2011); Pro-Max Corp. v. Feenstra, 117 Nev. 90, 95, 16 P.3d 1074, 1078 (2001). Stated another way, in circumstances where the statute’s language is plain, there is no room for constructive gymnastics, and the court is not permitted to search for meaning beyond the statute itself.  See Pro-Max Corp. v. Feenstra, 117 Nev. 90, 95, 16 P.3d 1074 1078 (2001).

Courts must not render any part of the statute meaningless, and must not read the statute’s language so as to produce absurd or unreasonable results.  Leven v. Frye, 123 Nev. 399, 405, 168 P.3d 712, 716 (2007).  They must consider “the policy and spirit of the law and will seek to avoid an interpretation that leads to an absurd result.”  Id. (quoting CityPlan Dev. v. State Labor Comm’r, 121 Nev. 419, 435, 117 P.3d 182, 192 (2005)). In fact, “The meaning of words used in a statute may be sought by examining the context and by considering the reason or spirit of the law or the causes which induced the legislature to enact it.  The entire subject matter and the policy of the law may also be involved to aid in its interpretation, and it should always be construed so as to avoid absurd results.”  Welfare Div. of State Dept. of Health, Welfare and Rehabilitation v. Washoe Cty. Welfare Dept., 88 Nev. 635, 637 (1972); Ex parte Siebenhauer, 14 Nev. 365, 368 (1879); Western Pacific R.R. v. State, 69 Nev. 66, 69 (1952). Finally, the Courts must conform their decisions to reason and the public policy behind the statute.  Great Basin Water Network v. State Eng’r, 234 P.3d 912, 918 (2010).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

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