Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY !

The team at Bauman, Loewe, Witt & Maxwell and the Nevada Law Blogs wish all of our clients, friends, business associates and readers a very safe and extremely enjoyable Independence Day Holiday!As we celebrate the July 4, 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, let’s reflect on a few important words from that life altering document: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, … [Read more...]

An Auto Insurance Company’s Refusal To Pay Claim, Standing Alone, Is Not Bad Faith

Ashley Aiello filed suit against her auto carrier Geico General Insurance Company.  She alleged that she was hurt when an unidentified driver struck her car and fled the scene.She said that she filed an uninsured motorist claim with Geico.  She filed suit when as she alleged Geico refused to pay her UM benefits.  Aiello’s suit included causes of action for breach of contract and bad faith.In Aiello v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 2:19-cv-00610-APG-VCF, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84191 (D. Nev. … [Read more...]

The Immense Sacrifice Of Our Fallen Heroes Must Always Be Remembered . . .

“Was it worth it?”This is a question, sometimes politically-loaded, that is often asked of family members and war buddies of our Fallen Heroes.Marine Corps General John Kelly recently offered a unique perspective. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan himself, General Kelly lost his youngest son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province in 2010.General Kelly was asked if the loss was worth it by a reporter with National Public Radio. He said, … [Read more...]

Only Family Members Can Recover For Negligent Infliction Of Emotional Distress

Plaintiff Kellie Grotts was injured and her fiancé was killed in a motor vehicle accident.  Kellie wanted to recover damages for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED).  The trial court said that as a matter of law, Kellie was not “closely related” and dismissed that cause of action.  She appealed.In Grotts v. Zahner, 115 Nev. 339, 989 P.2d 415 (1999) the Nevada Supreme Court reaffirmed Nevada’s law on NIED.  The Court cited the case of State v. Eaton, 101 Nev. 705, 710 P.2d 1370 … [Read more...]

Property Damage Alone Is Not Enough To Give Rise To A Claim For Emotional Distress

Ms. Clough was drag racing when her car left the roadway and crashed into the front of the Smith’s house.The Smiths were at home but were in the back yard when they heard the crash.  They went around to the front and found the Clough car lodged in their home and Ms. Clough dead on their walkway.The trial court rejected the Smith’s claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.  In Smith v. Clough, 106 Nev. 568; 796 P.2d 592 (1990), the Nevada Supreme Court agreed with the trial … [Read more...]

Nevada Allows Recovery For Prenatal Injuries

Dorothy White was hurt when the car in which she was riding was hit by a car driven by Henry Rup.  Not only was Ms. White injured but so was her unborn child.  In fact, the injuries were so serious that they caused the child’s death.Ms. White sued to recover not just for her injuries but also for the wrongful death of her unborn child.  The trial court rejected Ms. White’s claims.  The court said that the negligence of her driver husband was imputed to her and she could not recover.In … [Read more...]

Insurance Company Must Stack Multiple UM Coverages If The Anti-Stacking Language Is Not Clear.

Farmers issued two separate auto policies to the Torres family.  Both policies included uninsured coverage.The Torres daughter was injured when a moped on which she was a passenger crashed.  There was no coverage on the moped so Mr. Torres turned to her parent’s auto policy for UM coverage.The company admitted coverage and paid one of the two UM coverages.  However, it argued that it owed no duty to stack the policies because of the anti-stacking provision in an Endorsement. The trial … [Read more...]

Issue Preclusion Prevents Heir From Relitigating Issue Wrongful Death Case

Sarah Alcantara’s dad died following an assault in a Wal-Mart parking lot.Sarah was a minor.  Sarah’s mom hired an attorney to recover from Wal-Mart.  The attorney filed suit for the wrongful death of Sarah’s dad.NRS 41.085 provides that intestate heirs can recover for wrongful death and recover for their grief or sorrow, loss of probable support, companionship, society, comfort and consortium, and damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement of the decedent. NRS 41.085(4).  Sarah was … [Read more...]

Where An Insurance Company Breaches Its Duty To Defend, It Can Be Liable For An Excess Verdict Even If The Company Did Not Act In Bad Faith

Ryan Pretner suffered critical injuries when he was hit by a truck driven by Michael Vasquez.  Mr. Vasquez’s truck was covered by two auto policies, his personal policy, and his business auto policy.  His personal insurance with Progressive had a limit of $100,000 per person.  His commercial auto policy with Century Surety Company had a $1,000,000 limit.Century Surety conducted an investigation and determined that Mr. Vasquez was not in the course and scope of his business as an auto … [Read more...]

What The Heck Is An Automobile Operator’s Insurance Policy?

The State of Nevada compels automobile drivers to have insurance.  You can learn more about Nevada’s Compulsory Insurance Law HERE.There are two ways to satisfy the compulsory insurance requirement.Most people are familiar with the Nevada law that requires the OWNER of a motor vehicle to continuously maintain insurance.  This “Owner’s” coverage is the type of insurance that most people are familiar with.However, Nevada law allows for an alternative way to satisfy the compulsory … [Read more...]