Torts

(Discoverability of Conversations During Deposition Breaks)

Let’s pretend that your client needs a restroom break during a deposition and there is no question pending (thus, not triggering an In Re Stratosphere Corporation, 182 F.R.D. 614 (D. Nev. 1998) problem).  You and your client requested a break.  Before going back into the deposition, you remind your client about the training you gave him to answer only the question asked and not to volunteer information.  You also tell him to beware if opposing counsel asks questions about that smoking gun document that he pay special attention to the second paragraph.  Under a recent Nevada decision, no privilege would attach to that conversation, meaning your client could and would be forced to divulge the contents of that conversation if the examining attorney is aware of the decision. (more…)

Nevada Jury Instructions

NEV. J.I. 1.0               DUTY OF JUDGE AND JURY
NEV. J.I. 1.01             USE OF INSTRUCTIONS
NEV. J.I. 1.02            MASCULINE FORM OF PRONOUN INCLUDES FEMININE OR CORPORATION
NEV. J.I.1.03             WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT EVIDENCE  (more…)

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

RULE 1.  SCOPE OF RULES

      These rules govern the procedure in the district courts in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity, with the exceptions stated in Rule 81. They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.

      [As amended; effective January 1, 2005.]

In a civil setting, a statute of limitation sets a time limit on when one must file a civil lawsuit or lose the opportunity to do so.  In other words, if the statute of limitations places a 2 year expiration on a personal injury claim, one must file the claim within two years of the injury or be subject to dismissal.  The concept dates back to Roman law and is designed to prevent fraudulent or stale claims from being brought after a reasonable period of time when evidence and memories disappear regarding the events surrounding the claim.  The amount of time differs depending on the nature of the claim and is set by our legislature.

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OR APPROPRIATION OF THE NAME OR LIKENESS OF ANOTHER

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of invasion of privacy or appropriation of the name or likeness of another are:

  1. Defendant uses the name or likeness of a non-famous person;
  2. Without the permission of the person;
  3. The misappropriation of the person’s likeness or identity is a personal injury;
  4. Or gives publicity to a matter concerning the private life of another where the matter is of the kind that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and it not of legitimate concern to the public; and
  5. Plaintiff is entitled to compensation for damages for mental anguish and embarrassment for the unwanted use of the private person’s name or image.

Kuhn v. Account Control Tech., Inc., 865 F.Supp. 1443, 1448 (D. Nev. 1994); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd., 895 P.2d 1269, 1278 (Nev. 1995); Montesano v. Donrey Media Grp., 99 Nev. 644, 668 P.2d 1081, 1084 (1983), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 959, 104 S. Ct. 2172, 80 L.Ed.2d 555 (1984) (citing Forsher v. Bugliosi, 26 Cal.3d 792, 163 Cal.Rptr. 628, 608 P.2d 716 (1980); Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652D (1977).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of invasion of privacy by intrusion upon the seclusion of another are:

  1. An intentional intrusion (physical or otherwise);
  2. On the solitude or seclusion of another;
  3. That would be highly offensive to a reasonable person; and
  4. Causation and damages.

Kuhn v. Account Control Technology, Inc., 865 F.Supp. 1443, 1448 (D. Nev. 1994); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd., 895 P.2d 1269, 1278 (Nev. 1995); M & R Investment Co. v. Mandarino, 103 Nev. 711, 748 P.2d 488, 493 (1987).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In WPH Architecture, Inc. v. Vegas VP, __ P.3d __, 131 Adv. Op. 88 (Nev. Nov. 5, 2015), the Nevada Supreme Court held that Rule 68 Offers of Judgment, together with statutes allowing offers of judgment in Nevada “are substantive laws that apply to the arbitration proceedings in the current case.”  In this case, the contract between the litigants required arbitration of any disputes pursuant to the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Arbitration Rules, and applying Nevada substantive law.  Prior to arbitration, the claimant made a statutory and Rule 68 offer of judgment.  The respondent rejected the offer of judgment, then lost at arbitration.

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of premises liability (slip and fall, trip and fall, etc.) are:

  1. Defendant is the owner of or in control of premises;
  2. Plaintiff is a permissive user of the premises;
  3. A dangerous condition exists on the premises;
  4. Defendant caused, knew of, or should have known of the alleged dangerous condition; and
  5. The dangerous condition caused Plaintiff to suffer injury and/or other damages.

Rolain v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2013 U. S. Dist. LEXIS 14373 (March 26, 2013); Foster v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 291 P. 3d 150 (Nev. 2012) (duty of reasonable care for the safety of persons entering the land extends “to all entrants on the land (except for flagrant trespassers)”, concluding that “landowners bear a general duty of reasonable care to all entrants, regardless of the open and obvious nature of dangerous conditions.”  The Court then went on, stating that the “duty issue must be analyzed with regard to foreseeability and gravity of harm, and the feasibility and availability of alternative conduct that would have prevented the harm.”); Coblentz v. Hotel Emp. & Rest. Empl. Union Welfare Fund, 112 Nev. 1161, 1171-72, 925 P.2d 496, 502 (1996); Rogers v. Tore, Ltd., 85 Nev. 548, 550, 459 P. 2 214, 215 (1969); Restatement (Third) of Torts: Physical and Emotional Harm, § 51 (“[A] land possessor owes a duty of reasonable care to entrants on the land with regard to: (a) conduct by the land possessor that creates risks to entrants on the land; (b) artificial conditions on the land that pose risks to entrants on the land; (c) natural conditions on the land that pose risks to entrants on the land; and (d) other risks to entrants on the land when any of the affirmative duties . . . is applicable.”

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

Nevada’s Rules Governins Alternative Dispute Resolution defines a Settlement Conference as:

“Settlement conference” is a process whereby, with the approval of the district judge to whom the case is assigned, a district court judge not assigned to the particular case, senior judge, special master, referee or other neutral third person, conducts, in the presence of the parties and their attorneys and person or persons with authority to resolve the matter, a conference for the purpose of facilitating settlement of the case.

 

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Nevada’s Rules Governing Alternative Dispute Resolution defines Mediation as:

“Mediation” means a process whereby a neutral third person, called a mediator, acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and nonadversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of professional negligence or malpractice (not including medical malpractice) are:

  1. Defendant owes plaintiff duty to exercise due care toward plaintiff;
  2. Defendant had a heightened duty to use such skill, prudence, and diligence as other members of the profession commonly possess and exercise
  3. Defendant breached the duty of care;
  4. That breach caused harm to plaintiff; and
  5. Plaintiff was damaged by breach.

Clark v. Robison, 113 Nev. 949, 951, 944 P.2d 788, 790 (1997); Morgano v. Smith, 110 Nev. 1025, 1028, n.2, 879 P.2d 735, 737 (1994); Perez v. Las Vegas Med. Ctr., 107 Nev. 1, 4, 805 P.2d 589 (1991); Bank of Nevada v. Butler Aviation-O’Hare, Inc., 96 Nev. 763, 765, 663 P.2d 398, 399 (1980); Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 562 (1977); NRS 41A.015; Terracon Consultants W., Inc. v. Mandalay Resort Gp., 125 Nev. 66, 206 P.3d 81 (2009)(economic loss doctrine prevents tort suit against engineers and architects, but not attorneys, accountants, real estate professionals, and insurance brokers) (citing Goodrich & Pennington v. J.R. Woolard, 120 Nev. 777, 101 P.3d 792 (2004)); Hewitt v. Allen, 118 Nev. 216, 43 P.3d 345 (2002); Choi v. Chase Manhattan Mortg. Co., 63 F. Supp. 2d 874, 883-85 (N.D. Ill. 1999); 2314 Lincoln Park W. Condo. v. Mann, 136 Ill.2d 302, 144 Ill. Dec. 227, 555 N.E.2d 346, 353 (1990)).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

RULES GOVERNING ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

(Arbitration and Mediation)

A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Rule 1.  Definitions.  As used in these rules:

(A)  “Arbitration” means a process whereby a neutral third person, called an arbitrator, considers the facts and arguments presented by the parties and renders a decision, which may be binding or nonbinding as provided in these rules.

(B)  “Mediation” means a process whereby a neutral third person, called a mediator, acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and nonadversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement. In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties. The role of the mediator includes, but is not limited to, assisting the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving, and exploring settlement alternatives.

(C)  “Settlement conference” is a process whereby, with the approval of the district judge to whom the case is assigned, a district court judge not assigned to the particular case, senior judge, special master, referee or other neutral third person, conducts, in the presence of the parties and their attorneys and person or persons with authority to resolve the matter, a conference for the purpose of facilitating settlement of the case.

[Added; effective March 1, 2005.]

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The following abstract explores the law regarding punitive damages in Nevada

Introduction

Punitive damages are not designed to compensate a party, but are awarded for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.  NRS 42.010(1).  By assessing the gravity of the injury, punitive damages serve as a vehicle for a community to express outrage or distaste for a defendant’s misconduct while warning others that such wrongdoing will not be tolerated.  Ace Truck v. Kahn, 103 Nev. 503, 506, 746 P.2d 132, 134 (1987).  Allowing punitive damages provides a benefit to society by punishing undesirable conduct that is not punishable by the criminal law.  Id.  Therefore, the party whose conduct was so outrageous as to merit punishment by means of punitive damages is obligated to bear the burden of paying the award, which effectuates the goals of punishment of and deterrence.  New Hampshire Ins. Co. v. Gruhn, 99 Nev. 771, 774, 670 P.2d 941, 943 (1983). (more…)

Nevada Revised Statutes, NRS 38.209  “Arbitrator” defined.  “Arbitrator” means an individual appointed to render an award, alone or with others, in a controversy that is subject to an agreement to arbitrate.

(Added to NRS by 2001, 1274)

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of the tort of res ipsa loquitur (latin for “the thing speaks for itself”) are:

  1. First, that events are is the kind of events which ordinarily do not occur in the absence of someone’s negligence;
  2. The events were caused by an agency or instrumentality in the exclusive control of the Defendant, over which the defendant had the exclusive right of control, originally, and which was not mishandled or otherwise changed after defendant relinquished control;
  3. The event was not due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the plaintiff which was the responsible cause of his injury; and
  4. Causation and damages.

NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.18; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.19; BAJI 4.00; BAJI 4.02.

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

ARBITRATION OF ACTIONS IN DISTRICT COURTS AND JUSTICE COURTS

 

NRS 38.250  Nonbinding arbitration of certain civil actions filed in district court required; nonbinding arbitration of certain civil actions filed in justice court authorized; effect of certain agreements by parties to use other alternative methods of resolving disputes.

1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 38.310:

(a) All civil actions filed in district court for damages, if the cause of action arises in the State of Nevada and the amount in issue does not exceed $50,000 per plaintiff, exclusive of attorney’s fees, interest and court costs, must be submitted to nonbinding arbitration in accordance with the provisions of NRS 38.250 to 38.259, inclusive, unless the parties have agreed or are otherwise required to submit the action to an alternative method of resolving disputes established by the Supreme Court pursuant to NRS 38.258, including, without limitation, a settlement conference, mediation or a short trial.

(b) A civil action for damages filed in justice court may be submitted to binding arbitration or to an alternative method of resolving disputes, including, without limitation, a settlement conference or mediation, if the parties agree to the submission.

2.  An agreement entered into pursuant to this section must be:

(a) Entered into at the time of the dispute and not be a part of any previous agreement between the parties;

(b) In writing; and

(c) Entered into knowingly and voluntarily.

Ê An agreement entered into pursuant to this section that does not comply with the requirements set forth in this subsection is void.

3.  As used in this section, “short trial” means a trial that is conducted, with the consent of the parties to the action, in accordance with procedures designed to limit the length of the trial, including, without limitation, restrictions on the amount of discovery requested by each party, the use of a jury composed of not more than eight persons and a specified limit on the amount of time each party may use to present the party’s case.

(Added to NRS by 1991, 1343; A 1993, 556, 1024; 1995, 1419, 2537, 2538; 1999, 852, 1379; 2003, 851; 2005, 391)

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NEVADA REVISED STATUTES

CHAPTER 38 – MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

 

UNIFORM ARBITRATION ACT OF 2000

 

NRS 38.206             Short title.

NRS 38.207             Definitions.

NRS 38.208             “Arbitral organization” defined.

NRS 38.209             “Arbitrator” defined.

NRS 38.211             “Court” defined.

NRS 38.212             “Knowledge” defined.

NRS 38.213             “Record” defined.

NRS 38.214             Notice.

NRS 38.216             Applicability.

NRS 38.217             Waiver of requirements or variance of effects of requirements; exceptions.

NRS 38.218             Application for judicial relief; service of notice of initial motion.

NRS 38.219             Validity of agreement to arbitrate.

NRS 38.221             Motion to compel or stay arbitration.

NRS 38.222             Provisional remedies.

NRS 38.223             Initiation of arbitration.

NRS 38.224             Consolidation of separate arbitration proceedings.

NRS 38.226             Appointment of arbitrator; service as neutral arbitrator.

NRS 38.227             Disclosure by arbitrator.

NRS 38.228             Action by majority.

NRS 38.229             Immunity of arbitrator; competency to testify; attorney’s fees and costs.

NRS 38.231             Arbitration process.

NRS 38.232             Representation by lawyer.

NRS 38.233             Witnesses; subpoenas; depositions; discovery.

NRS 38.234             Judicial enforcement of preaward ruling by arbitrator.

NRS 38.236             Award.

NRS 38.237             Change of award by arbitrator.

NRS 38.238             Remedies; fees and expenses of arbitration proceeding.

NRS 38.239             Confirmation of award.

NRS 38.241             Vacating award.

NRS 38.242             Modification or correction of award.

NRS 38.243             Judgment on award; attorney’s fees and litigation expenses.

NRS 38.244             Jurisdiction.

NRS 38.246             Venue.

NRS 38.247             Appeals.

NRS 38.248             Uniformity of application and construction. (more…)

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION AND WRONGFUL TERMINATION

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of retaliatory discharge (sometimes called employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, or tortious discharge) are:

  1. Employee engaged in protected activity while employed (such as filing a discrimination charge or opposing unlawful employer practices);
  2. Employee suffered an adverse employment action by the employer;
  3. The protected activity was a motivating factor in the adverse employment action;
  4. Causation and damages; and
  5. Punitive damages.

Burlington N. v. White, 126 S. Ct. 2405 (2006); Steiner v. Showboat Operating Co., 25 F.3d 1459, 1464 (9th Cir. 1994); Allum v. Valley Bank of Nevada, 114 Nev. 1313, 970 P.2d 1062, 1066 (1998); D’Angelo v. Gardner, 107 Nev.704, 819 P.2d 206, 212 (1991); Hansen v. Harrah’s, 100 Nev. 60, 675 P.2d 394 (1984); 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of civil RICO violations (Racketeering Influenced and corrupt organizations act) are:

  1. Defendants engaged in racketeering activities as defined in NRS 207.390 and a racketeering enterprise as is defined in NRS 207.380;
  2. Defendants acting directly, and in conspiracy with one another or through their syndicate, participated directly in racketeering activity by engaging in at least two crimes related to racketeering;
  3. Defendant’s activities have the same or similar pattern, intent, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission, or otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated events;
  4. Defendant acquired or maintained directly or indirectly an interest in, or control of, any enterprise, or defendants are employed by or associated with any enterprise to conduct or participate directly or indirectly in the affairs of the enterprise through a racketeering activity;
  5. Plaintiff’s injuries flow from the defendant’s violation of a predicate Nevada RICO act;
  6. Plaintiff’s injury was be proximately caused by the defendant’s violation of the predicate act;
  7. Plaintiff did not participate in the commission of the predicate act; and
  8. Plaintiff is entitled to institute a civil action for recovery of treble damages proximately caused by the RICO violations. NRS 207.470(1).

NRS 207.470; Stoddart v. Miller, 2008 WL 6070835 (Nev. 2008 ); Siragusa v. Brown, 114 Nev. 1384, 971 P.2d 801 (1999); Gordon v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Ct., 12 Nev. 216, 231, 913 P.2d 240, 250-51 (1996); Cummings v. Charter Hosp. of Las Vegas, Inc., 111 Nev. 639, 896 P.2d 1137 (1995); Allum v. Valley Bank of Nevada, 109 Nev. 280, 849 P.2d 297 (1993); Hale v. Burkhardt, 104 Nev. 632, 634, 764 P.2d 866, 867 (1988).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

Jay Young, Nevada Business Attorney and Arbitrator

Jay Young is a Las Vegas, Nevada Arbitrator, Mediator, and Supreme Court Settlement Judge

For downloadable pdf of this article, click here.

Many of the complaints that I hear from litigators about arbitration could be resolved if the arbitration clause which forced the parties into litigation were written better.  Arbitrations are, of course, a creature of contract.[1]  Therefore, the parties’ arbitration agreement[2] is often the beginning and end of the arbitrator’s authority.[3]  The arbitrator is bound to give effect to the contractual rights and expectations of the parties “in accordance with the terms of the agreement.”[4]  In fact, although the Federal Arbitration Act presumes that arbitration awards will be confirmed except upon a few narrow circumstances,[5] the arbitrator who acts beyond the scope of the authority found in the parties’ arbitration clause risks having the award vacated.[6]  So, if you want the arbitrator to behave differently, write a better arbitration agreement.  (more…)

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, the elements of a wrongful death claim are:

  1. The death of a human being;
  2. Caused by another’s wrongful act or negligence;
  3. Plaintiff is an heir or personal representative of decedent; and
  4. Plaintiff suffered damages for monetary injury as a result of the death;

NRS 41.085; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.13; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.14; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.15; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.16; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.17; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 10.18; BAJI 14.50; BAJI 14.52

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim waste are:

  1. Defendant commits or permits an act constituting waste to property at a time when Defendant is rightfully in possession of property;
  2. Defendant’s act cause permanent or lasting injury done to the property, to the prejudice of another who has an interest in the property; and
  3. Plaintiff is entitled to treble damages.

NRS 40.150; Price v. Ward, 25 Nev. 203, 849–50, 58 P. 849 (1899).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

 

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of bad faith discharge, tortious discharge, or wrongful discharge, are:

  1.  Enforceable contract of employment (even for an indefinite period of future employment);
  2. Special relationship between the tortfeasor and the tort victim (i.e., a relationship of trust and special reliance);
  3. Employer acts in bad faith; conduct must go well beyond the bounds of ordinary liability for breach of contract;
  4. Causation and damages; and
  5. Punitive damages.

Martin v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 111 Nev. 923, 899 P.2d 551 (1995); Shoen v. Amerco, Inc., 111 Nev. 735, 896 P.2d 469 (1995); D’Angelo v. Gardner, 107 Nev. 704, 819 P.2d 206 (1991); Kmart v. Ponsock, 103 Nev. 39, 732 P.2d 1364 (1987).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the defense of waiver is available where:

  1. A voluntary and intentional express or implied relinquishment of a known right; and
  2. Made with full knowledge of all material facts.

Udevco, Inc. v. Wagner, 100 Nev. 185, 189, 678 P.2d 679, 682 (1984).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

This is the second 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.

 

Tribal Status

A tribe which has obtained “federal recognition” is understood by the U.S. government to be a sovereign nation which may operate legally and politically as an independent entity.  The federal government is, in essence, recognizing that the tribe was a sovereign nation prior to the creation of the United States, and recognizes it as the same today.  Tribes without federal recognition have no legal relationship with the U.S. government, enjoy no protection from state jurisdiction or control, and have no sovereign immunity.[1] (more…)

The Lanham Act prohibits unfair competition. See 15 U.S.C. § 1125.

15 U.S.C. § 1125. False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden (a) Civil action (1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or devise, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which — (A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or (B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, quahties, or geographic origin of his or her or another person’s goods, services, or commercial activities, shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

Courts have recognized that the Lanham Act represents an affirmative code of business ethics. See Gold Seal Co. v. Weeks, 129 F.Supp. 928 (D.D.C. 1995) Aff’d subnom. S.C. Johnson & Son, v. Gold Seal Co., 230 F.2d 832 (D.C. Cir. 1955), cert, denied. 352 U.S. 829 (1956). According to this business code, competitors may not destroy the basis of genuine competition by destroying the buyers’ opportunity to judge fairly between rival products. Id.

For over a century, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that the primary reason for prohibiting unfair competition is to guard against public deception. See Laurence Mfg. Cn. v. Tennessee Mfg. Co., 138 U.S. 537 (1891). “[T]he touchstone of a Section 1125(a) unfair competition claim is whether the defendant’s actions are likely to cause confusion.” Matrix Essentials, Inc. v. Rmporium Drug Mart, Inc., 988 F.2d 587, 592 (5th Cir. 1993). Like claims for trademark infringement, claims for unfair competition under the Lanham Act require the same threshold showing of a likelihood of consumer confusion as to the source of the goods. See John Paul Mitchell Syst. v. Pete-N-Larry’s, Inc., 862 F.Supp. 1020, 1023 (W.D. N.Y. 1994).

To determine if there is a likelihood of confusion, courts consider multiple factors. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recognized that eight non-dispositive factors should be considered when evaluating a likelihood of confusion: (1) the strength of the mark; (2) the proximity of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the marketing channels; (6) the type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser; (7) the defendant’s intent in selecting the mark; and (8) the likelihood of expansion of the product lines. See AMP, Tnr,. v. Sleekcraft Boats. 599 F.2d 341, 348-49 (9th Cir. 1976). Most commonly, these factors are used to determine the likelihood of confusion in trademark infringement cases. Id.

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim civil trespass are:

  1. Invasion or invasion upon property of another;
  2. Defendant acted intentionally to intrude; and
  3. Causation and damages.

NRS 207.200; Bradley v. Am. Smelting & Ref. Co., 104 Wash.2d 677, 692-693 (1985); Lied v. Clark County, 94 Nev. 171, 173-174, 579 P.2d 275 (1978).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

The elements of a Lanham Act false advertising claim are as follows:

  • the defendant made a false or misleading statement of fact in a commercial advertisement about a product;
  • the statement either deceived or had the capacity to deceive a substantial segment of potential consumers;
  • the deception is material, in that it is likely to influence the con­sumer’s purchasing decision;
  • the product is in interstate commerce; and
  • the plaintiff has been or is likely to be injured as a result of the statement.

See, e.g., Cook, Perkiss and Liehe, Inc. v. N. Cal. Collection Serv., Inc., 911 F.2d 242, 244 (9th Cir. 2000); Clorox Co. Puerto Rico v. Procter & Gamble Commercial Co., 228 F.3d 24, 33 n.6 (1st Cir. 2000); Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 227 F.3d 489, 495 (5th Cir. 2000); Balance Dynamics Corp. v. Schmitt Indus., 204 F.3d 683, 689 (6th Cir. 2000); United Indus. Corp. v. Clorox Co., 140 F.3d 1175, 1180 (8th Cir. 1998); Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharm. Co. v. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharm., Inc., 19 F.3d 125, 129 (3d Cir. 1994); Skil Corp. v. Rockwell Int’l Corp., 375 F. Supp. 777 (N.D. Ill. 1974).

A false advertiser “shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.”  15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) (emphasis added). This element states both standing injury requirements.  Courts have consistently rejected consumer standing to sue for false advertising under the Lanham Act, however. See, e.g., Seven-Up Co. v. Coca-Cola Co., 86 F.3d 1379, 1383 n.5 (5th Cir. 1996) (“[W]e have found no case which suggests that ‘consumers’ have standing under § 43(a).”); Stanfield v. Osborne Indus., Inc., 52 F.3d 867, 873 (10th Cir. 1995) (“[T]hus, to have standing for a false advertising claim, the plaintiff must be a competitor of the defendant and allege competitive injury.”); Serbin v. Ziebart Int’l Corp., 11 F.3d 1163, 1177 (3d Cir. 1993) (holding that the consumers, as noncommercial plaintiffs, do not have standing under the Lanham Act); Colligan v. Activities Club of New York, Ltd., 442 F.2d 686 (2d Cir. 1971) (analyzing the legislative history and purpose behind § 43(a) and concluding that consumers lacked standing to bring action under the Lanham Act); Bacon v. Sw. Airlines Co., 997 F. Supp. 775, 780 (N.D. Tex. 1998) (holding that there is no private cause of action for consumers under the false advertising prong of the Lanham Act); see also James S. Wrona, False Advertising and Consumer Standing Under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act: Broad Consumer Protection Legislation or a Narrow Pro-Competitive Measure?, 47 RUTGERS L. REV. 1085  (1995) (concluding that most courts agree that consumers do not have standing to sue, although various rationales are still employed).

Section 45 of the Lanham Act protects “persons engaged in … commerce against unfair competition.  15 U.S.C. § 1127.  Section 45 requires a commercial or competitive injury.  In the Ninth Circuit, a plaintiff must “allege commercial injury based upon a misrepresentation about a product, and also that the injury was ‘competitive,’ i.e., harmful to the plaintiff’s ability to compete with the defendant.”  Barrus v. Sylvania, 55 F.3d 468, 470 (9th Cir. 1995) (quoting Waits v. Frito-Lay, Inc., 978 F.2d 1093 (9th Cir. 1992)).

The Plaintiff must first prove the Defendant made a false or misleading statement of fact.  Falsity is demonstrated by proving either: (1) the statement is literally false, or (2) although literally true, the statement is likely to mis­lead, confuse, or deceive consumers.  S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. v. Clorox Co., 241 F.3d 232, 238 (2d Cir. 2001); United Indus. Corp., 140 F.3d at 1179; Southland Sod Farms v. Stover Seed Co., 108 F.3d 1134, 1139–40 (9th Cir. 1997).  Whether an advertisement is liter­ally false is an issue of fact.  See, e.g., Clorox Co. Puerto Rico, 228 F.3d at 34.  “A claim is conveyed by necessary implica­tion when, considering the advertisement in its entirety, the audience would recognize the claim as readily as if it had been explicitly stated.”  Id. at 35.  A suggestive representation is less likely to be found as a literally false statement.  See, e.g., Id.; United Indus. Corp., 140 F.3d at 1175.  Proving that the adver­tisement is literally false depends on the nature of the claim made in the advertisement, as well as the context in which the claim was made.  See Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 227 F.3d 489, 495 (5th Cir. 2000) (“When construing the allegedly false or misleading statement to determine if it is actionable under section 43(a), the statement must be viewed in the light of the overall context in which it appears.”); United Indus. Corp., 140 F.3d at 1180.  For example, a visual image may make an advertisement literally false.  In Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharm., Inc. v. Marion Merrell Dow, Inc. (93 F.3d 511, 516 (8th Cir. 1996)), the court found literal falsity when a drug manufacturer’s television advertisement showed images of two gasoline pumps side by side, but displaying different prices, together with a question “Which one would you choose?”  The court held the advertisement inaccurately portrayed that the manufacturer’s and competitor’s drugs are substituted for one another.

Misleading Statements

A statement which is literally true may nevertheless be actionable false advertising. “Statements that are literally true or ambigu­ous but which nevertheless have a tendency to mislead or deceive the consumer are actionable under the Lanham Act.”  United Indus. Corp. v. Clorox Co., 140 F.3d 1175, 1182 (8th Cir. 1998).  This is true where claims convey a false impres­sion, are misleading in context, or may be deceptive when viewed by consumers.  Id. at 1180.

If an advertisement is literal­ly true but misleading, the plaintiff must also prove that the adver­tisement has in fact deceived or has a tendency to deceive.  See, e.g., Clorox Co. Puerto Rico v. Procter & Gamble Commercial Co., 228 F.3d 24, 33 (1st Cir. 2000).  The plaintiff must prove materiality by extrinsic evidence showing what consumers actually believe when viewing the advertising.  Id.; Gordon & Breach Science Publishers S.A. v. Am. Inst. Of Physics, 859 F. Supp. 1521, 1532 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

Opinion and Puffery

Opinion and puffery are not actionable. For a statement to be actionable under Section 43(a), it must be a statement of fact, as opposed to mere opinion or bald assertion. See also Southland Sod Farms v. Stover Seed Co., 108 F.3d 1134, 1145 (9th Cir. 1997); Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 227 F.3d 489, 496 (5th Cir. 2000) (collecting cases); Groden v. Random House, 61F.3d 1045, 1051 (2d Cir. 1995) (stating that when a statement is “obviously a statement of opinion,” it cannot “reasonably be seen as stating or implying provable facts”).  A state­ment of fact is one that “(1) admits of being adjudged true or false in a way that (2) admits of empirical verification.”  Presidio Enter., Inc. v. Warner Bros. Distrib. Corp., 784 F.2d 674, 679 (5th Cir. 1986);  “Puffery,” comes in two forms: (1) an exaggerated, blustering, and boasting statement upon which no reasonable buyer would be justified in relying; or (2) a general claim of superiority over com­parable products that is so vague that it can be understood as noth­ing more than a mere expression of opinion.  Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 496-97.

Commercial Advertising or Promotion

The false or misleading statement of fact must appear in a “com­mercial advertising or promotion.”  See 17 U.S.C. § 1125(a); Seven-Up Co. v. Coca-Cola Co., 86 F.3d 1379, 1383 (5th Cir. 1996).  “Commercial advertising or promotion” is defined as:

  • commercial speech;
  • by a defendant who is in commercial competition with the plaintiff;
  • for the purpose of influencing consumers to buy the defendant’s goods or services; and
  • that is disseminated sufficiently to the relevant purchasing pub­lic to constitute “advertising” or “promotion” within that industry, even if not made in a “classical advertising campaign.” Coastal Abstract Serv., Inc. v. First Am. Tit. Ins. Co., 173 F.3d 725, 734 (9th 1999); Gordon & Breach Science Publishers S.A. v. American Inst. of Physics, 859 F. Supp. 1521, 1532 (S.D.N.Y. 1994); see also Sports Unlimited, Inc. v. Lankford Enter., Inc., 275 F.3d 996, 1004-05 (10th Cir. 2002) (using these four factors to determine whether challenged conduct constitutes “commercial advertising or promotion”); Seven-Up Co., 86 F.3d at 1384. The definition excludes non-commercial speech; non-commercial speech is entitled to a greater protection under the First Amendment than commercial speech.  Gordon & Breach, 859 F. Supp. at 1536.

Materiality

A plaintiff must demonstrate that the false or misleading advertising or promotion at issue is “material.”  JTH Tax, Inc. v. H&R Block East Tax Serv., Inc., 28 Fed. App. 207 (4th Cir. 2002).  Materiality centers on whether the false or misleading advertisement deceives or is likely to deceive.  Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 227 F.3d 489, 502 (5th Cir. 2000); Sandoz Pharm. Corp. v. Richardson-Vicks, Inc., 902 F.2d 222, 228-29 (3d Cir. 1990).  Such materiality generally is established when the advertisement deceives, or has the capacity to deceive, a substantial segment of potential con­sumers about a relevant quality or characteristic of the prod­uct or service.

Literally False Statements

Where the statement at issue is literally false, materiality is presumed. “With respect to materi­ality, when the statements of fact at issue are shown to be lit­erally false, the plaintiff need not introduce evidence on the issue of the impact the statements had on consumers.”  Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497; see also S.C. Johnson & Son, 241F.3d at 232; Clorox Co. Puerto Rico v. Procter & Gamble Commercial Co., 228 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 2000).  Section 43(a) does not require an additional showing of deception.

Misleading Statements

With a literally true but misleading statement, materiality is decided based on public’s actual reaction to the advertisement.  See Southland Sod Farms v. Stover Seed Co., 108 F.3d 1134, 1140 (9th Cir. 1997);  Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497; Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharm. Inc. Co. v. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharm., 19 F.3d 125 (3d Cir. 1994).  “The plaintiff may not rely on the judge or the jury to determine, based solely upon his or her own intuitive reaction, whether the advertisement is deceptive.”  Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497 (quotation omitted); see also Clorox Co. Puerto Rico, 228 F.3d at 37; Johnson & Johnson v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 960 F.2d 294, 297 (2d Cir. 1992).  Plaintiff must demonstrate that the advertising deceived a substantial portion of the public.  See United Indus. Corp. v. Clorox Co., 140 F.3d 1175, 1182 (8th Cir. 1998).  “[W]here the advertisement is liter­ally true, [public perception] is often the only measure by which a court can determine whether a commercial’s net communicative effect is misleading.”  Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 503 n.13.  Generally, surveys are the preferred vehicle; however, evidence of consumers’ letters, calls, and affidavits, can also show consumer deception.  See Clorox Co. Puerto Rico, 228 F.3d at 36; Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497; Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497.

Willful or Bad Faith Conduct

The 9th Circuit held that if the defendant violated the Lanham Act will­fully or in bad faith, a plaintiff is not required to provide a con­sumer survey or any other extrinsic evidence in order to prove materiality.  U-Haul Intl., Inc. v. Jartan, Inc., 793 F.2d 1034 (9th Cir. 1986).

In some circuits, if the defendant “intentionally set out to deceive the public,” using “deliberate conduct” of an “egregious nature” in light of the advertising culture of the marketplace in which the defendant competes, a presumption arises that consumers were, in fact, deceived, dispensing with the need for the plaintiff to commis­sion a consumer survey.

Clorox Co. Puerto Rico v. Procter & Gamble Commercial Co., 228 F.3d 24 36 n.9 (1st Cir. 1998); see also United Indus. Corp., 140 F.3d at 1183; Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharm. Co. v. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharm., Inc., 19 F.3d 125 (3d Cir. 1994); Resource Dev., Inc. v. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Found., Inc., 926 F.2d 134 (2d Cir. 1991).

Remedies

The Lanham Act provides for both injunctive and monetary relief.  See 15 U.S.C. §§ 1116 – 1117.  For literally false claims where a plaintiff is only seeking injunctive relief, no additional evidence is necessary, and for misleading claims, a tendency to deceive consumers must be established.  See, e.g., Pizza Hut, Inc. v. Papa John’s Int’l, Inc., 227 F.3d 489, 497 (5th Cir. 2000); American Council, 185 F.3d at 618 (“Although plaintiff need not present consumer surveys or testimony demonstrating actual deception, it must present evidence of some sort demonstrating that consumers were misled.”).  If a plaintiff seeks damages, however, it must prove actual confusion or deception arising from the violation. See generally George Basch Co., Inc. v. Blue Coral, Inc., 968 F.2d 1532, 1537 (2d Cir. 1992).  Injunctive relief only requires a showing that the defendant’s rep­resentations have a tendency to deceive consumers (which is presumed where the statement is literally false).  See, e.g., Pizza Hut, 227 F.3d at 497; American Council, 185 F.3d at 618.

Monetary Damages

Once a violation of section 43(a) has been established, the plaintiff is entitled

subject to the principles of equity, to recover (1) defendant’s profits, (2) any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and (3) the costs of the action. . . . In assessing profits the plaintiff shall be required to prove defendant’s sales only; defendant must prove all elements of cost or deduction claimed. In assessing damages the court may enter judgment, according to the circumstances of the case, for any sum above the amount found as actual damages, not exceeding three times such amount. If the court shall find that the amount of recovery based on profits is either inadequate or excessive the court may in its discretion enter judgment for such sum as the court shall find to be just, according to the circumstances of the case. Such sum in either of the above circumstances shall constitute compensation and not penalty. The court in exceptional cases may award reason­able attorney fees to the prevailing party.

15 U.S.C. § 1117(a).  The courts enjoy broad discretion when determining damages.  Burger King Corp. v. Mason, 855 F.2d 779 (11th Cir. 1988).

Several forms of monetary relief are possible, including the amount of profits lost as a result of the defendant’s false advertising (marketplace damages), the defendant’s profits gained as a result of its false advertising (unjust enrichment), amounts necessary for corrective advertising, and attorney fees.  Ninth Circuit law holds that punitive damages are not available for vio­lation of section 43(a).  Harper House, Inc. v. Thomas Nelson, Inc., 889 F.2d 197 (9th Cir. 1989).  Further, the Ninth Circuit has held that the “[p]ublication of deliberately false comparative claims gives rise to a presumption of actual deception and reliance,” reasoning that:

The expenditure by a competitor of substantial funds in an effort to deceive consumers and influence their purchasing decisions justi­fies the existence of a presumption that consumers are, in fact, being deceived. He who has attempted to deceive should not com­plain when required to bear the burden of rebutting a presumption that he succeeded.

U-Haul Int’l, Inc. v. Jartran, Inc., 793 F.2d 1034, 1040-41 (9th Cir. 1986); see also Resource Dev., Inc. v. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Found., Inc., 926 F.2d 134 (2d Cir. 1991) (“[U]pon a proper showing of such deliberate conduct, the burden shifts to the defendant to demonstrate the absence of consumer confusion.”); Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 110 F.3d 1329, 1334-35 (8th Cir. 1992) (applying rule only in context of comparative advertising where plaintiff’s product was specifically targeted).

Defendant’s Profits

The Ninth Circuit suggests that willful con­duct is required in order to recover defendant’s profits.  See Minn. Breeders, Inc. v. Schell & Kampeter, Inc., 41 F.3d 1242, 1247 (8th Cir. 1994); Gracie v. Gracie, 217 F.3d 1060, 1068 (9th Cir. 2000).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of nuisance are:

  1. Unreasonable, unwarrantable, or unlawful use of one’s own property;
  2. Cause of a sustainable/unreasonable interference of another’s enjoyment;
  3. Interferes with another’s enjoyment of their own property; and
  4. Such that the law will presume consequential damages.

NRS 40.140; D.S. Edwards v. Emperor’s Garden Rest., 122 Nev. 317, 130 P.3d 1280, 1288 (2006); Jezowski v. Reno, 71 Nev. 233, 240, 286 P.2d 257 (1955).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligence of an agency relationship are:

  1. The existence of an agency relationship;
  2. The agent was negligent in fulfilling the agent’s duties; and
  3. Causation and damages.

Scialabba v. Brandise Constr. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 968; 921 P.2d 928, 930 (1996); Hunter Mining Laboratories, Inc. v. Mgt. Assistance, Inc., 104 Nev. 568, 570-71; 763 P.2d 350, 352 (1988).

 

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligent misrepresentation are:

  1. The defendant must have supplied information while in the course of his business,profession or employment, or any other transaction in which he had a pecuniary interest;
  2. The information must have been false;
  3. The information must have been supplied for the guidance of the plaintiff in his business transactions;
  4. The defendant must have failed to exercise reasonable care or competence in obtaining or communicating the information;
  5. The plaintiff must have justifiably relied upon the information by taking action or refraining from it; and
  6. And, finally, as a result of his reliance upon the accuracy of the information, the plaintiff must have sustained damage.

NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 9.05; Barmettler v. Reno Air, Inc., 114 Nev. 441, 449, 956 P.2d 1382, 1387 (1998); Albert H. Wohlers & Co. v. Bartgis, 114 Nev. 1249, 1260, 969 P.2d 949, 957 (1998); Epperson v. Roloff, 102 Nev. 206, 211, 719 P.2d 799, 802 (1986); Bill Stremmel Motors, Inc. v. First Nat’l Bank of Nevada, 94 Nev. 131, 134, 575 P.2d 938, 940 (1978); Kitchen Krafters, Inc. v. Eastside Bank of Montana, 789 P.2d 567 (Mont. 1990).

 

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress are:

  1. Defendant acted in a negligent manner, causing an accident or injury of another;
  2. Plaintiff witnesses the accident;
  3. Plaintiff is closely related to the victim of the accident;
  4. Plaintiff suffered emotional or physical distress by witnessing the accident while it happened; and
  5. Proximate cause and damages.

Boorman v. Nevada Mem’l Cremation Soc’y, 236 P.3d 4, 8 (Nev. 2010); Luckett v. Doumani, 121 Nev. 44, 110 P.3d 30 (2005); Grotts v. Zahner, 115 Nev. 339, 342, 989 P.2d 415, 417 (1999); Shoen v. Amerco, Inc., 111 Nev. 735, 748, 896 P.2d 469, 477 (1995); Chowdhry v. NLVH, Inc., 109 Nev. 478, 851 P.2d 459 (1993);  State v. Hill, 114 Nev. 810, 963 P.2d 480 (1998); State v. Eaton, 710 P. 2d 1370 (Nev. 1985); Paugh v. Hanks, 451 N.E.2d 759, 767 (Ohio 1983).

 

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In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligent entrustment are:

  1. Defendant leaves an object, such as an automobile or firearm, with another person;
  2. Defendant knows or should know the person with whom the defendant left the object is inexperienced and/or incompetent to use the object and a person who could use the object to harm others;
  3. The person entrusted with the object uses it in a negligent fashion, harming another; and
  4. Damages.

Nurse v. U.S., 226 F.3d 99 (9th Cir. 2000); Hall v. Enter. Leasing Company-West, 122 Nev. 685, 137 P.3d 1104 (Nev. 2006); Zugel v. Miller, 100 Nev. 525, 688 P.2d 310 (1984); McCart v. Muir, 230 Kan. 618, 641 P.2d 384 (1982); Mills v. Continental Parking Corp., 86 Nev. 724, 725-26, 475 P.2d 673, 674 (Nev. 1970); Wiggins v. Hughes Tool Co., 87 Nev. 190, 193-94 484 P.2d 566, 568-69 (Nev. 1971); 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic §§ 643-45 (1980).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of elder abuse are:

  1. A person over the age of 60 years or is vulnerable as defined by NRS 41.1395 (physical or mental impairment);
  2. Suffers a personal injury or death caused by abuse or neglect, as defined by NRS 41.1395;
  3. Suffers a loss of money or property by reason of their exploitation by another;
  4. The defendant knows or has reason to know that the plaintiff is elderly or vulnerable;
  5. Double actual damages; and
  6. If the defendant acted with recklessness, oppression, fraud or malice, the plaintiff shall be entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs of the suit.

NRS 41.1395; DeRuise v. Progressive Cas. Ins. Co. Inc., 3:11-CV-00136-ECR, 2011 WL 3651297 (D. Nev. Aug. 17, 2011).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision are:

  1. Employer had a duty to protect plaintiff from harm resulting from its employment of the tortfeasor;
  2. Employer breached that duty by hiring, retaining, failing to train, supervise, or discipline the tortfeasor;
  3. Proximate cause; and
  4. Causation and damages.

Nurse v. U.S., 226 F.3d 99 (9th Cir. 2000); Blanck v. Hager, 360 F. Supp. 2d 137, 157 (2005); Goodrich and Pennington Mortgage Fund, Inc. v. RJ Woolard, Inc., 120 Nev. 777 (2004);  Rockwell v. Sun Harbor Budget Suites, 112 Nev. 1217, 1226-27, 925 P.2d 175, 1181 (1996); Harrigan v. City of Reno, 86 Nev. 678, 475 P.2d 94 (Nev. 1970); Amen v. Mercede Cty. Title Co., 58 Cal. 2d 528 (1962); Rianda v. Sand Benito Title Guar. Co., 35 Cal. 2d 170 (1950).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligence per se, or negligence for violation of a statute, are:

  1. Defendant had duty to exercise due care with respect to plaintiff as is defined by a statute or administrative regulation;
  2. Plaintiff was of the class of persons the statute or regulation was designed to protect;
  3. Defendant breached the duty by violating the statute or regulation, which constitutes negligence as a matter of law; and
  4. Causation and damages.

NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.12; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.13; Atkinson v. MGM Grand Hotel, Inc., 98 P.3d 678, 680 (Nev. 2004); Scialabba v. Brandise Constr. Co., 12 Nev. 965, 968 (1996); Joynt v. California Hotel and Casino, 108 Nev. 539, 542 (1992); Sagebrush Ltd. v. Carson City, 99 Nev. 204, 208, 660 P.2d 1013, 1015 (1983); Seim v. Garavalia, 306 N.W.2d 806 (1981); Bearden v. City of Boulder City, 89 Nev. 106, 507 P.2d 1034 (Nev. 1973); Restatement (Second) of Torts § 286.

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a civil claim of gross negligence are:

  1. Defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff;
  2. Defendant breached that duty, failing to exercise even the slightest degree of care;
  3. Defendant engaged in an act or omission respecting legal duty of an aggravated character, or with willful, wanton misconduct;
  4. The breach was the legal cause of plaintiff’s injuries; and
  5. Plaintiff suffered Causation and damages.

Gross negligence is substantially and appreciably higher in magnitude and more culpable than ordinary negligence. Gross negligence is equivalent to the failure to exercise even a slight degree of care. It is materially more want of care than constitutes simple inadvertence. It is an act or omission respecting legal duty of an aggravated character, as distinguished from a mere failure to exercise ordinary care. It is very great negligence, or the absence of slight diligence, or the want of even scant care. NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 6.21; Bearden v. Boulder City, 89 Nev. 106, 507 P.2d 1034 (Nev. 1973).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, if a plaintiff’s negligence is greater than sum of defendants’ negligence or the plaintiff acted with gross negligence, plaintiff can have no recovery; otherwise, damages are diminished in proportion to the plaintiff’s fault. This is known as comparative negligence.  NRS 41.141.

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of civil assault are:

  1. Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive touching;
  2. Offender intended to cause harmful or offensive touching;
  3. Lack of consent for the contact;
  4. The victim was put in apprehension of such contact; and
  5. Causation and damages.

Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 109 S. Ct. 1865 (1989); In re Bradshaw, 315 B.R. 875 (Bankr. D. Nev. 2004); Burns v. Mayer, 175 F. Supp. 2d 1259 (D. Nev. 2001); Lerner Shops v. Marin, 83 Nev. 75, 423 P.2d 398 (1967); Yada v. Simpson, 112 Nev. 254, 913 P.2d 1261; Wright v. Starr, 42 Nev. 441, 179 P. 877 (1919);  Prosser and Keeton on Torts, § 10 at 43 (5th ed. 1984).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of negligence are:

  1. Defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff;
  2. Defendant breached that duty;
  3. The breach was the legal cause of plaintiff’s injuries; and
  4. Plaintiff suffered damages.

Turner v. Mandaly Sports Entm’t, LLC, 124 Nev. 213, 180 P.3d 1172 (2008); Scialabba v. Brandise Construction Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996); Perez v. Las Vegas Med. Ctr., 107 Nev. 1, 4, 805 P.2d 589 (1991).  Negligence is the failure to exercise that degree of care which an ordinarily careful and prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.  NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.02; NEVADA JURY INSTRUCTIONS 4.03; BAJI 3.10.

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of defamation per se are:

  1. False and defamatory statement by defendant concerning the plaintiff;
  2. Unprivileged publication of the statement to third party;
  3. Some level of fault amounting at least to negligence; and
  4. Actual or presumed damages. Damages which will be presumed if the defamation tends to injure plaintiff in his business (defamation per se).

To constitute defamation per se, the statement must fall into one of four categories: “(1) that the plaintiff committed a crime; (2) that the plaintiff has contracted a loathsome disease; (3) that a woman is unchaste; or, (4) the allegation must be one which would tend to injure the plaintiff in his or her trade, business, profession or office.”  Nev. Indep. Broad. Corp., 99 Nev. 404, 409, 664 P.2d 337, 341.  Additionally, the defamatory comments must imply a “habitual course of similar conduct, or the want of the qualities or skill that the public is reasonably entitled to expect.”  See Restatement (Second) of Torts § 573 cmt. d (1977).  With per se liability, the plaintiff is entitled to presumed, general damages.  Nev. Indep. Broad., 99 Nev. 404, 409, 664 P.2d 337, 341.  If the defamation tends to injure the plaintiff in his or her business or profession, it is deemed defamation per se, and damages will be presumed. Chowdhry v. NLVH, Inc., 109 Nev. 478, 483, 851 P.2d 459,462 (1993); see also Nev. Ind. Broad. v. Allen, 99 Nev. 404, 409, 664 P.2d 337, 341 (1983); Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 262 n.18, 98 Sup.Ct. 1042, 1052 n.18, (U.S. 1978); Fallon Min. Co., Inc. v. Caddell, 77 Fed. Appx. 416, 9th Cir. (2003); Bonjovi v. Sullivan, 122 Nev. 556, 138 P.3d 433 (Nev. 2006); Burns v. Mayer, 175 F. Supp. 2d 1259 (D. Nev. 2001); Switzer v. Rivera, 174 F. Supp. 2d 1097 (D. Nev. 2001); Branda v. Sanford, 97 Nev. 643, 646, 637 P.2d 1223, 1225 (1981); Williams v. Univ. Med. Ctr. So. Nev., 688 F. Supp. 2d 1134 (D. Nev. 2010); W. Page Keeton, et al Prosser & Keaton On the Law of Torts § 112, at 788 (5th Ed. 1984).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

 

In Nevada, a plaintiff must take reasonable steps mitigate damages, which means to minimize the effects and loss related to his or her injuries/damages.  Dillard’s Dep’t Stores, Inc. v. Beckwith, 989 P.2d 882, (Nev. 1999); NRS 118.175; James Hardie Gypsum (Nevada), Inc. v. Inquipco, 112 Nev. 1397, 929 P.2d 903 (1996) (“As a general rule, a party cannot recover damages for loss that he could have avoided by reasonable efforts.” Conner v. S. Nevada Paving, Inc., 103 Nev. 353, 355, 741 P.2d 800, 801 (1987) (citation omitted). “[T]he rule den[ies] recovery for losses which could have been prevented by the . . . expenditures of plaintiff. . . .” Valencia v. Shell Oil Co., 147 P.2d 558, 561 (Cal. 1944). In order to recover loss of use damages, the plaintiff must “show diligence in getting the car repaired as early as reasonably possible.” Rownstein v. Bernhard & Turner Auto. Co., 180 N.W. 282, 284 (Iowa 1920). “[T]he trial court’s role, as trier of fact, is to determine the reasonable period of repair.” Airborn, Inc. v. Denver Air Ctr., Inc., 832 P.2d 1086, 1091 (Colo. Ct. App. 1992)).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any person with respect to the person’s compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment because of race, color, religion, sec, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age (40 and older), disability or national origin.

Dennis v. Nevada, 282 F. Supp. 2d 1177, at 1181 (D. Nev. 2003); Switzer v. Rivera, 174 F. Supp. 2d 1097 (D. Nev. 2001); Wolber v. Service Corp. Int’l, 612 F. Supp. 235 (D. Nev. 1985).

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.  In Nevada, companies with 15 or more employees are subject to the state’s antidiscrimination law.

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of malicious prosecution are:

  1. Filing of criminal action;
  2. Lack of probable cause to commence prior action;
  3. Malice;
  4. Favorable termination of prior the action; and
  5. Causation and damages.

LaMantia v. Redisi, 38 P.3d 877 (2002); Dutt v. Kremp, 111 Nev. 57 (1995); Chapman v. City of Reno, 85 Nev. 365 (1969).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, in order to qualify for the remedy of disgorgement of profits, one must plead and prove:

  1. Defendant owes another a fiduciary duty;
  2. Defendant has breached the fiduciary duty and profited thereby;
  3. Causation and damages; and
  4. Plaintiff is entitled to have Defendant disgorge profits which are the result of his breach.

G.K. Las Vegas Ltd. P’ship v. Simon Prop. Grp., 671 F. Supp. 2d 1203 (D. Nev. 2009); Alley v. Nevada Real Estate Div., 94 Nev. 123, 125; 575 P.2d 1334, 1335 (1978); Women’s Fed. Savings and Loan Assoc. V. Nevada Nat’l Bank, 81 F.2d 1255, 1260 (9th Cir. 1987); Holland Realty Inv. Co. v. State of Nevada, Dept. of Commerce, Real Estate Div., 84 Nev. 91, 97-98; 436 P.2d 422, 425-26 (1968).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

Power of Attorney

In Nevada, a “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care” is a signed, dated, and witnessed written instruction naming another person as your “agent” or “health care proxy” to make medical decisions for you if you should become unable to make them for yourself.  The instrument may include instructions regarding any treatment you would desire or those you wish to avoid, such as surgery or artificial feeding. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care will be in effect whenever you are unable to make decisions and, unlike the Living Will, is not limited to situations where you are terminal or have an incurable condition. The agent’s authority begins only when a physician determines that you have lost the capacity to decide about treatment.

OR APPROPRIATION OF THE NAME AND LIKENESS OF A FAMOUS PERSON

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of invasion of privacy by invasion of the right of publicity or appropriation of the name and likeness of a famous person are:

  1. Defendant uses the name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness of another by a person, firm or corporation;
  2. Without the permission of the person;
  3. The misappropriation of the person’s likeness or identity is a personal injury;
  4. Defendant sought and obtained commercial value from the misappropriation of the person’s name or likeness;
  5. The commercial value belongs to the famous person;
  6. Plaintiff is entitled to compensation for damages of not less than $750 for the commercial value taken by the defendant; and
  7. Plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief and punitive damages.

NRS 597.770 – NRS 597.810; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd., 895 P.2d 1269, 1278 (Nev. 1995); Hetter v. District Court, 110 Nev. 513, 519 (Nev. 1994).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of invasion of privacy through disclosure of false light are:

  1. The defendant gave publicity to a matter concerning the plaintiff that placed the plaintiff before the public in a false light (at least an implicit false statement of objective fact);
  2. The false light would be highly offensive to a reasonable person;
  3. The defendant had knowledge of, or acted in reckless disregard as to, the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the plaintiff would be placed (requiring actual malice); and
  4. Plaintiff suffered emotional harm.

Flowers v. Carville, 310 F.3d 118, 1132 (9th Cir. 2002); Wood v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 736 F.2d 1084, 1093 (5th Cir. 1984) (disclosure of stolen nude photos); Vail v. Pioneer Mut. Life. Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107994, *5-6 (D. Nev. July 20, 2011) (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652); Flowers v. Carville, 266 F. Supp. 2d 1245, 1252 (D. Nev. 2003).

 

See elements for other claims at the Nevada Law Library

In Nevada, the elements for a claim of defamation are:

  1. False and defamatory statement by defendant concerning the plaintiff;
  2. Unprivileged publication of the statement to third party;
  3. Some level of fault amounting at least to negligence; and
  4. Actual or presumed damages. Damages which will be presumed if defamation tends to injure plaintiff in his business (defamation per se).

“Defamation” is defined as “a publication of a false statement of fact.”  Pegasus v. Reno Newspapers, Inc., 118 Nev. 706, 714, 57 P.3d 82, 87 (2002).  To succeed on a defamation claim, a plaintiff must prove the following elements: (a) a false and defamatory statement concerning another; (b) an unprivileged publication to a third party; (c) fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and (d) either actionability of the statement irrespective of special harm, or the existence of special harm caused by the publication.  Lubin v. Kunin, 117 Nev. 107, 111, 17 P.3d 422, 425 (2001) (quoting PETA v. Boby Berosini, Ltd., 111 Nev. 615, 619, 895 P.2d 1269, 1272 (1995) (quoting the Restatement (Second) of Torts: Elements Stated § 558 (1965)) modified on other grounds by Las Vegas Dountown Redev. Agency v. Hecht, 113 Nev. 644, 650, 940 P.2d 134, 138 (1997)). (more…)

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