Winter2010(1) by ps94506


									                                                                                                                                Winter 2010

                                                                                              training and supervision of Mitchell.

    HigHligHts                              Nevada supreme                                        NRS 41A.071 requires medical
                                                                                              malpractice complaints to be accompanied
                                            Court deCisioNs                                   by an expert affidavit in support of the
Expert Affidavits Required                                                                    complaint’s allegations, but the Fierles’
for Almost All Claims for                                                                     initial complaint did not include an expert
Healthcare Provider Negligence               mediCal malpraCtiCe                              affidavit. Once they realized their error,
   Husband and wife plaintiffs filed         aNd Civil prodeCure                              the Fierles filed an amended complaint
suit against a doctor, his staff, and                                                         which included the expert affidavit of
his professional corporation without                                                          Dr. Miercort. The defendants moved to
including the required expert affidavit     The Nevada Supreme Court
                                                                                              dismiss the original complaint for failure to
in support of their allegations. The        Clarifies Scope of Expert Affidavit
                                                                                              include an expert affidavit and also moved
Nevada Supreme Court held that              Requirement in Professional                       to strike the amended complaint because
expert affidavits are required in support   Negligence Cases                                  the original complaint was allegedly void
of claims for professional negligence           Patricia Fierle underwent a mastectomy        ab initio. A complaint that is void ab initio
of non-doctors and professional             in 2005 as a result of breast cancer. To assist   cannot be amended or cured. The district
corporations. There is, however, an         in planned chemotherapy, a catheter was
exception to the affidavit requirement
                                                                                              court granted both the motion to dismiss
                                            surgically placed in Ms. Fierle’s chest wall.     the complaint and the motion to strike the
where the harm suffered would not
                                            Dr. Perez and his employees, registered nurse     amended complaint. The Fierles appealed
normally occur without negligence on
the part of the defendant.
                                            Melissa Mitchell, and nurse practitioners         to the Supreme Court of Nevada.
                                            Charmaine Cruet and Linda Lesperance,                 On appeal, the Fierles argued that NRS
                                            administered the chemotherapy. On Ms.             41A.071 did not apply to professional
Plaintiffs Can Recover Under
the Liability and Underinsured
                                            Fierle’s third visit to Dr. Perez, Mitchell       medical corporations. The Fierles based
Motorist Provisions of a Single             administered chemotherapy medication              their argument on the statutory definitions
Insurance Policy                            which did not infuse into the catheter but        of medical malpractice, which referred to
    A plaintiff successfully persuaded      allegedly infused into the tissue, causing a
the Nevada Supreme Court to allow           subcutaneous burn called an “extravasation.”
recovery under both the liability and       A subsequent ultrasound revealed that the
underinsured motorist provisions of an      catheter tip was not in the subclavian vein,            iN tHis issue
insurance policy issued to the driver       as it should have been, but had coiled in
of the vehicle in which plaintiff was a     the tissue. Ms. Fierle sought treatment for        NEVADA SUPREME COURT
passenger. The Nevada Supreme Court         her burn from Dr. Miercort, who referred           Medical Malpractice . . . . . . . . . . Page 1
found that such “stacking” is permissible   her to U.C. Davis Medical Center, where            Insurance Coverage . . . . . . . . . . . Page 2
when the liability claim is asserted        Ms. Fierle was diagnosed with “a severe
against the permissive driver, and the
                                            extravasation of chemotherapy over the             NEVADA JURY VERDICTS
underinsured motorist claim is asserted
                                            right shoulder and subclavian region.”             Personal Injury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 3
against a second negligent party.
                                            Ms. Fierle and her husband filed a medical         Medical Malpractice . . . . . . . . . . Page 4
                                            malpractice and professional negligence            Construction Defects . . . . . . . . . . Page 5
                                            complaint against Dr. Perez, his professional      Premises Liability . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 5
   President Barrack Obama nominates
Clark County Chief Deputy District
                                            medical corporation, and his staff. The
Attorney Gloria Navarro to serve as         Fierles alleged that Mitchell failed to            COMMENTS
U.S. District Court Judge for the State     use due care in the administration of the          Nomination of New
of Nevada.                                  chemotherapy, and that Dr. Perez and the            U.S. District Court Judge. . . . . . Page 6
                                            nurse practitioners were negligent in the
Page 2                                                                                                                Nevada Legal Update

physicians, hospitals, and employees of            negligence claim should be the same. The         Boulevard in Las Vegas, and was struck by
hospitals, but not to professional medical         Court also noted that exempting nurses from      a car driven by Toquando Dean. Delgado
corporations or associations. The Supreme          the affidavit requirement would essentially      was severely injured. Marcelino was insured
Court recognized that the definition did not       exempt doctors from the requirement,             by American Family Insurance Group up
include Dr. Perez’s professional corporation       as claims for professional negligence are        to $50,000 per person. Dean carried an
on its face, but also examined other statutes      identical to claims for medical malpractice.     insurance policy with a $15,000 liability
related to professional entities and the           A plaintiff could simply file claims for         limit. Marcelino’s policy also included
personal liability of doctors. NRS 89.060(1)       professional negligence against doctors to       coverage for an underinsured motorist and
and 89.220(1) both address the personal            circumvent the affidavit requirement. The        stated that American Family would “pay
liability of a doctor who worked for a             Court therefore concluded that claims for        compensatory damages for bodily injury
professional association, and both clearly         professional negligence against providers        which an insured person is legally entitled
state that no statute alters the personal          of health care, including nurses and nurse       to recover from the owner or operator of an
liability of a doctor for any tort in which he     practitioners, required expert affidavits. The   underinsured motor vehicle.”
personally participated. The Court reasoned        district court did not err in dismissing the         Marcelino’s policy defined an insured
that because the formation of a professional       Fierles’ claims against Dr. Perez’s staff.       person as the contracting party, relatives,
medical corporation did not alter the                 The Supreme Court has previously              anyone else occupying the insured car, and
liability of a doctor, the most appropriate        determined that no expert affidavit is           anyone claiming damages due to bodily
reading of NRS 41A.071 required that               required in support of claims based on           injury caused by a person in the vehicle. The
complaints against professional medical            the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. This          parties agreed that Delgado was an “insured
corporations include expert affidavits. The        doctrine can be invoked when the subject         person” under Marcelino’s underinsured
Supreme Court concluded that the district          injury would not ordinarily occur without        motorist provision. American Family’s
court was correct in dismissing the Fierles’       negligence. By statute, the exception applies    policy further defined an “underinsured
claims related to the professional medical         to a “provider of medical care” when “an         motor vehicle” as a motor vehicle insured
corporation.                                       unintended burn caused by heat, radiation        by a policy which is less than the limit of
    The Fierles further claimed that the statute   or chemicals was suffered in the course of       underinsured motorist coverage under the
referred only to medical malpractice, and          medical care.” Here, Ms. Fierle was allegedly    subject policy. The policy allowed another
not other forms of professional negligence.        injured as a result of Mitchell’s negligent      driver’s vehicle to qualify as underinsured if
Specifically, the Fierles contended that           administration of chemotherapy drugs.            the other driver had less liability coverage
only the claims made against Dr. Perez fell        The Court concluded that the res ipsa            than the limit of Marcelino’s underinsured
under the definition of medical malpractice        loquitur exception applied to the claims of      motorist coverage. Delgado offered to settle
and that the remaining claims against the          professional negligence against Mitchell.        her claims with American Family for a
nurse and nurse practitioners were exempt          The claims against the other parties             total of $75,000, including $50,000 for the
from the expert affidavit requirements. The        who were not directly involved with the          liability coverage limit, plus $25,000 for
Supreme Court concluded that it was not            administration of the chemotherapy, did not      the underinsured motorist coverage limit.
clear whether the term medical malpractice         qualify under the exception. Accordingly,        American Family denied the offer, reasoning
encompassed professional negligence of             the district court erred in dismissing the       that Marcelino’s vehicle did not qualify as
nurses. Faced with this ambiguity, the             claims against Mitchell. Fierle v. Jorge Perez   an underinsured vehicle according to the
Court turned to the legislative history of the     M.D., LTD, decided November 19, 2009.            policy terms.
statute to determine the purpose and intent                                                             Delgado and her husband filed suit,
behind the statutory requirements.                                                                  alleging that American Family breached its
    The legislature intended to shield doctors      iNsuraNCe Coverage                              contract by failing to accept the demand for
from frivolous lawsuits and encourage                                                               payment of Marcelino’s policy limits. The
them to continue practicing medicine in                                                             Delgados alleged that the underinsured
Nevada. The original enactment of the              The Nevada Supreme Court                         motorist at issue was Marcelino. Because
statute referred only to medical malpractice       Allows Passenger to “Stack”                      the policy clearly excluded Marcelino
and doctors. In 2004, the legislature added        Liability and Underinsured                       as a possible underinsured motorist, and
a definition for professional negligence,          Motorist Coverage in Case                        because previous Nevada Supreme Court
which encompassed nurses and non-                  Involving Two Negligent Drivers                  cases barred recovery under both liability
hospital employees. In light of the purpose           In December 2004, Dionicia Delgado            and underinsured motorist provisions
of the legislation, the Court concluded            was a passenger in a vehicle operated by         of a single insurance policy, American
that the requirements for filing a medical         Eunice Marcelino. Marcelino attempted to         Family moved for summary judgment. The
malpractice claim and a professional               turn left across northbound traffic on Nellis    Delgados opposed the motion and argued
Nevada Legal Update                                                                                                                      Page 3

that their claim was actually based on the       Peterson did not apply because each involved
Dean vehicle being underinsured and that         a single automobile and the vehicles’                   Nevada Jury
previous Nevada cases baring recovery from
both liability and underinsured motorist
                                                 respective insurance policies, while the
                                                 Delgados’ case involved the concurrent                   verdiCts
coverage did not apply to their case. The        negligence of two drivers, with separate
district court concluded that Marcelino’s        insurance policies, both of which were
vehicle was not underinsured and that            insufficient. American Family countered            persoNal iNJury
precedent barred recovery from both the          that while the configuration of parties varied,
liability and the underinsured motorist          the Delgados sought to do exactly what the        Jury Finds for Defendant in
provisions. Accordingly, the district court      court forbade in Baker and Paterson: the
                                                                                                   Motorcycle Accident Trial
granted American Family’s motion for             stacking of underinsured motorist benefits
                                                                                                       Plaintiff, a 49 year-old female and
summary judgement, and the Delgados              on top of liability benefits to increase the
                                                                                                   Nevada visitor, crashed her motorcycle in
appealed.                                        total value of available coverage. The Court      an inactive construction zone and sustained
    The Delgados asserted that their case was    disagreed with American Family.                   a closed head injury with moderate to severe
factually distinguishable from previous cases        The Court explained that both Baker and       traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff alleged that
that barred recovery under both the liability    Peterson reasoned that allowing a passenger       Defendant failed to implement a proper
and the underinsured motorist provisions         to recover under the driver’s liability and       traffic control plan, and failed to provide
of a single insurance policy. In Peterson v.     uninsured/underinsured motorist policy            proper signs and warnings, which caused
Colonial Life, the plaintiff, a motorcycle       based only on the driver’s negligence would       Plaintiff to become confused by the roadway
passenger, was injured after a collision         impermissibly increase the liability limit        and lose control of her motorcycle.
with a vehicle. The passenger claimed the        for the owner/insured. Neither Baker or               Plaintiff called a traffic reconstruction
motorcycle operator was negligent, and           Peterson, however, considered whether a           expert who testified regarding the speeds
recovered under the operator’s liability         guest passenger whose injuries were caused        and distances involved, as well as a traffic
policy. Once the plaintiff exhausted the         by jointly negligent parties may recover          engineer who opined that the lack of
limits of the owner’s policy, she made an        liability benefits under the policy based         traffic control could have contributed to
uninsured/underinsured motorist claim            on the driver’s negligence, in addition to        the accident. Defendant denied liability
under the same policy of insurance, again        recovering underinsured motorist benefits         and asserted that its traffic control plan
based on the operator’s negligence. The          under the same policy for damages caused          was proper and had been approved by the
court concluded that the passenger was           by another, underinsured driver. The              general contractor as well as the State of
essentially attempting to increase the           plaintiffs in Baker and Peterson alleged that     Nevada. Defendant alleged that Plaintiff
liability coverage under the owner’s policy      the vehicles in which they were passengers        was an inexperienced motorcycle rider who
and held that “stacking” of a liability          were underinsured, while the Delgados             lost control as a result of a bump in the road.
policy on top of an uninsured/underinsured       claimed that another negligent vehicle                To support her claimed damages, Plaintiff
motorist policy was impermissible.               was underinsured. Accordingly, the Court          called a neurologist who testified that
    The Supreme Court considered                 held that neither Peterson nor Baker barred       Plaintiff sustained severe brain injury and
a similar issue in the case of Baker v.          recovery of underinsured benefits under the       experienced problems with memory, speech,
Criterion Insurance. In Baker, a passenger       facts of this case.                               taste, smell, and vision. Plaintiff also called
sought to recover liability and uninsured/           The Court explained that allowing the         a neuro-psychologist who testified that
underinsured motorist benefits under her         Delgados to recover underinsured benefits         Plaintiff would require ongoing supervised
own policy, instead of the policy of the         promoted the purposes of uninsured/               care and would suffer rapid decline in her
driver. The court in Baker determined            underinsured motorist coverage. The               function and ability. Plaintiff also relied
that the differences between Paterson and        purpose of uninsured/underinsured coverage        on the testimony of a life care planner and
Baker were inconsequential and reaffirmed        was to compensate the insured for damages         economist regarding her past and future lost
that once a passenger has recovered under        based upon the tort liability of the uninsured,   income and the present-day value of her
the owner’s liability policy the passenger       underinsured, or hit-and-run driver. In this      future medical care.
may not also recover under the owner’s           case, allowing recovery of both liability and         Plaintiff sought past medical expenses
uninsured/underinsured coverage. The             underinsured coverage from a single policy        of $600,000; future medical expenses of
court in Baker clarified that a passenger may,   allowed the passenger to be compensated for       $2,025,000; past lost wages of $480,000;
however, recover from her own uninsured/         damages caused by the joint negligence of         and $665,000 for future lost wages. Plaintiff
underinsured coverage after recovering from      an uninsured/underinsured driver. Delgado         made a $2,000,000 pretrial settlement
the owner’s policy.                              v. American Family Insurance, decided             demand and Defendant offered $1,000,000.
    The Delgados argued that Baker and           October 1, 2009.                                  Following a nine day trial and seven hours
Page 4                                                                                                            Nevada Legal Update

of deliberation spanning two days, the jury     fever, altered mental state and slurred         Jury Awards Mother and Father
found for the Defendant. Kodera v. United       speech manifested on September 10, 2003.        for Negligence of Hospital During
Rentals Highway Technologies, Inc., decided     At that point Defendant, the treating           Labor and Delivery
May 1, 2009.                                    physician, transferred Decedent to the              Plaintiff Mother presented to Defendant
                                                “special care” wing of the hospital. Two        University Medical Center’s labor and
Jury Awards $6.5 Million in                     days later, Decedent’s blood pressure           delivery department at 10:00 a.m.
Trucking Rear-End Accident Case                 dropped to critically low levels and upper      experiencing contractions which began
   Plaintiff, a 46 year-old female cocktail     gastrointestinal bleeding began. In response,   seven hours earlier at 3:00 a.m. The fetal
waitress and realtor, was stopped on the        plans were made to transfer Decedent to         heart rate was noted to be non-reactive to
freeway for an emergency vehicle when           a hospital in Henderson, Nevada. When           scalp stimulation, and prolonged fetal heart
she was rear-ended by a semi-truck driven       the ambulance crew arrived to transfer the      rate deceleration was noted at 10:42 a.m.,
by Defendant Martin. Defendant Martin           Decedent, they were told to wait while the      lasting three to four minutes. Defendant
was within the course and scope of his          Decedent was cleaned. Once the ambulance        Doctor was notified of the fetal condition
employment with Defendant Wilson                crew was able to see Decedent, they             and ordered admission for induction of
Logistics.                                      overrode the Defendant’s orders to transport    labor. Subsequently, the hospital staff
   Plaintiff alleged permanent lumbar           to the Henderson hospital and, instead,         initiated Pitocin to promote labor. By 4:00
injuries to her L-4 and L-5 disks,              transported Decedent to a different hospital    p.m., terminal bradycardia was noted, with
which required surgical intervention            in Las Vegas. Decedent died at the hospital     loss of fetal heart tones. Once the fetal heart
and implantation of internal fixation           on Sept 12, 2003. An autopsy revealed           rate was documented at 40 beats per minute,
devices. Plaintiff also alleged that her        the cause of death to be gastrointestinal       an emergency caesarian was performed,
injuries prevented her from performing          hemorrhage, due to gastric ulcer. Decedent’s    resulting in delivery of a severely depressed
her occupational duties. Plaintiff called       surviving husband, two daughters, and son       infant boy in cardiac arrest. Plaintiff Son
a non-treating physician, her treating          brought a suit for wrongful death.              died two years later from causes unrelated
physician, an orthopedic physician, a pain          Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant doctor    to the birth injuries.
management specialist, and a psychologist       fell below the standard of care when she            Plaintiff Mother and Father alleged
to testify regarding the cause and scope of     failed to transfer Decedent to an acute care    Defendants fell below the standard of care
her alleged injuries. Defendants relied on      hospital. Defendant denied falling below        during the mother’s labor and delivery.
the testimony of an orthopedic specialist, a    the standard of care and alleged Decedent’s     Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that the
vocational rehabilitation specialist, and an    death was caused by non-parties to the          mother should have been taken to surgery
economist to rebut the Plaintiff’s witnesses.   litigation. Defendant further argued that       much earlier. Plaintiffs argued that their
   Plaintiff sought $129,000 in past medical    the Decedent presented with multiple            son sustained severe perinatal asphyxia
expenses; $550,000 in future medical            pre-existing complaints, including the          with subsequent seizure disorder and
expenses; $80,000 in past lost wages; and       right above-knee amputation, secondary          cerebral palsy; severe hypoxic ischemic
$552,000 future lost wages. Defendants          to gangrene; congestive heart failure;          encephalopathy from decreased blood flow
offered $600,000 in the middle of trial and     sacral decubitus ulcer; a left foot wound;      to the brain; and was permanently mentally
                                                coronary artery disease; and type two           and physically impaired. Plaintiffs further
$750,000 on the last day of trial. Following
                                                diabetes. Defendant also claimed that she       alleged that their son suffered cortical
the five day trial, the jury deliberated
                                                recommended placement of a feeding tube         blindness, and required a tracheotomy for
for three hours before awarding Plaintiff
                                                because Decedent was mal-nourished, but         breathing and a gastrointestinal tube for
$6,500,300. Penix v. Wilson Logistics Nevada,
                                                Decedent’s daughter refused to consent          feeding. Defendants denied falling below
Inc, decided May 8, 2009.
                                                to the procedure. In addition, Defendant        the standard of care.
                                                asserted that during Decedent’s treatment           The son’s Estate requested compensatory
 mediCal malpraCtiCe                            she consulted with an infectious disease        damages in excess of $10,000, while his
                                                specialist who attributed Decedent’s spiked
                                                fever to a central catheter line infection.
Jury Finds for Defendant in                         Plaintiffs requested compensatory
Medical Malpractice, Wrongful                   damages in excess of $10,000. The trial                     Nevada Legal Update
Death Trial                                                                                               is published quarterly by
                                                lasted eight days and the jury deliberated
                                                                                                  Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders
   Following an above-knee amputation of        three hours before finding for the Defendant.           7401 W. Charleston Blvd.
the right leg on August 26, 2003, Decedent      Howren v. Anjum, M.D., decided July 22,                  Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital.   2009.                                             (702) 384-7000 • Fax (702) 385-7000
Decedent’s health declined until signs                                                         
of septic shock, low blood pressure, high
Nevada Legal Update                                                                                                                         Page 5

parents made a claim for loss of consortium.        exit, Defendant reversed an “up” escalator           Plaintiff requested compensatory damages
Plaintiffs made a pretrial demand of $99,999,       to run as a “down” escalator. An elderly          in excess of $10,000, medical expenses of
and the Defendants refused to make an               patron, who was not a party to the litigation,    $84,316, and future medical expenses of
offer. Following a ten day trial, the jury          entered the crowded escalator and fell near       $188,500. After a five day trial, the jury
deliberated for four hours finding for the          the bottom. Plaintiff descended the escalator     awarded Plaintiff $3,634.59; however, the
doctor and his medical practice; however,           immediately behind the elderly patron and         jury found Plaintiff to be ninety percent at
it awarded the Estate $387,920.29, and              was pushed down in a domino effect when           fault, and accordingly reduced Plaintiff’s
awarded each of the parents $75,000 against         the elderly patron fell. Plaintiff allegedly      award to $363.46. Covosie v. Boulder Palm,
Defendant University Medical Center.                sustained cervical and shoulder strains and       L.L.C., decided July 17, 2009.
Benitez-Cordova v. University Medical               sprains with residual pain.
Center, decided June 1, 2009.                          Plaintiff alleged Defendant failed to          Restaurant Slip and Fall Case Ends
                                                    provide crowd control and failed to provide       With $5.5 Million Award
                                                    security personnel around the escalator.              Plaintiff, a 49 year old female Nevada
 CoNstruCtioN defeCts                               Plaintiff also alleged that Defendant failed to   resident, was walking to the restroom in
                                                    provide proper signs and warnings to prevent      Defendant’s restaurant when she allegedly
Forty Home-Owner Plaintiffs                         overcrowding and the use of walkers on the        slipped and fell on olive oil in front of the
Prevail In Defective Plumbing                       escalators. Plaintiff used the videotaped         kitchen entry. Plaintiff’s fall resulted in a
Case                                                deposition of an orthopedic specialist to         three-level internal lumbar disk disruption
    Plaintiffs, 40 homeowners in a residential      support her claims for injury.                    and a cervical disk herniation, both of which
development known as Dove Canyon,                      During trial, Plaintiff sought                 required surgical fusion.
alleged Defendant negligently installed             compensatory damages in excess of $10,000,            Plaintiff claimed that Defendant’s
defective plumbing systems in Plaintiffs’           an unspecified amount for medical expenses,       restaurant was poorly designed and
homes. Plaintiffs called a mechanical               and an unspecified amount for lost wages.         encouraged patrons to walk through the
engineer and a metallurgical engineer to            Following the three day trial and two hours       area directly in front of the kitchen entry.
offer expert opinion testimony regarding            of deliberation, the jury found for the           The area was congested with food-runners,
the negligently installed plumbing systems.         Defendant. Sipla v. Flamingo Laughlin, Inc.,      waiters, and other staff crossing paths
Plaintiffs also called a construction expert        decided February 25, 2009.                        with patrons headed to the restroom.
and cost estimator to establish the cost                                                              Additionally, Plaintiff argued that the
of repair. Defendant denied liability and           Plaintiff Found Ninety Percent at                 olive oil was spilled by one of Defendant’s
asserted that the builder selected the              Fault in Treadmill Injury Case and                employees, and that such a food spill was
plumbing products installed in the Plaintiffs’      Recovers $368                                     foreseeable. Plaintiff called a human factors
houses, not the Defendant. Defendant also               A 57 year-old unemployed Nevada               expert who opined that the Defendant could
argued that the cost of repair was lower than       resident was using a treadmill in the fitness     have done many things to improve safety
the Plaintiffs’ witness testified.                  room of Defendant apartment complex,              in the area, such as providing slip mats or
    Plaintiffs made a pretrial demand of            when she fell and was allegedly thrown to         warning signs.
$40,000, and Defendant offered $20,000.             the wall. Plaintiff claimed that she sustained        Defendant denied liability and argued
During trial Plaintiffs sought $425,000 for         cervical, thoracic, and lumbar soft tissue        there was no olive oil or other food
property damage. Following the eleven day           injures requiring ongoing medical care.           substance on the floor, but that Plaintiff
trial, the jury awarded Plaintiffs $475,000.            Plaintiff claimed that the treadmill had      tripped over her own feet. Defendant called
Kitec Plaintiffs Litigation v. Majestic Plumbing,   been negligently programmed to speed              a biomechanical expert and a safety expert,
Inc., decided June 12, 2009.                        up unexpectedly. Additionally, Plaintiff          who both opined that the area was safe and
                                                    claimed that no instructions were available       that Plaintiff’s fall was most likely caused by
                                                    for the treadmill, and that the treadmill was     her own tripping.
 premises liability                                 intended for home use, not for use in a fitness       To support her claim for damages,
                                                    center. She further argued that Defendant         Plaintiff called a physiatrist, a pain
Jury Finds for Defendant in                         placed the treadmill dangerously close to the     management specialist, a vascular surgeon,
Escalator Mishap Case                               wall. In support of her claim, Plaintiff called   and an orthopedic specialist to testify
   Plaintiff, a 50 year-old woman and               a biomechanical engineer, an orthopedic           regarding the causes and extent of her
Nevada resident, attended a “Tim Conway”            physician, and a psychologist to testify at       injuries. Plaintiff also called a vocational
show on the second floor of Defendant hotel.        trial. Defendant denied liability and called      rehabilitation specialist and an economist
After the show, 500 people exited by way of         a psychologist to rebut the testimony of          to testify regarding her economic losses.
a narrow hallway. To assist patrons in their        Plaintiff’s witnesses.                            Defendant countered with an orthopedic
                              Alverson Taylor Mortensen                                                                                                             PRST STD
                              & Sanders                                                                                                                           U.S. POSTAGE
                              7401 W. Charleston Blvd.                                                                                                           LAS VEGAS, NV
                              Las Vegas, Nevada 89117                                                                                                            PERMIT NO. 447

  The information included in this newsletter is not a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific circumstances require consultation with appropriate legal professionals.

physician and a physiatrist who testified that                                                                                      Navarro earned a bachelor’s degree
the Plaintiff had a pre-existing degenerative
                                                                 CommeNts                                                       from the University of Nevada Las Vegas
disk disease, and that the injuries caused by                                                                                   in 1989, and her law degree from Arizona
her fall were limited to strains and sprains.                     President Barrack Obama recently                              State University in 1992. Since 2005,
Defendant also called an economist to testify                  nominated Clark County Chief Deputy                              she has worked in the District Attorney’s
regarding the Plaintiff’s economic losses.                     District Attorney Gloria Navarro to serve                        office, representing Clark County in civil
   Plaintiff sought $402,751 in past medical                   as U.S. District Court Judge for the State of                    litigation. Before joining the District
expenses; $2,932,105 in future medical                         Nevada. Pending confirmation by the U.S.                         Attorney, Navarro served in the Federal
expenses; $186,498 in past lost wages;                         Senate, Navarro will fill a vacancy created                      Public Defender’s office. She also had her
$533,571 for future lost wages; and $172,542                   by the retirement of Judge Brian Sandoval.                       own practice and was awarded the Louis
lost household services. Plaintiff made                        Judge Sandoval served as U.S. District                           Wiener Pro Bono Service Award. The
a pretrial demand of $1,000,000, and                           Court Judge from October 24, 2005, until                         Nevada State Bar Association named
Defendant declined to make an offer.                           his resignation on August 15, 2009.                              her “Public Lawyer of the Year” in 2002.
During closing arguments, Plaintiff’s counsel                     President Obama issued a statement                            Navarro was born in Las Vegas and is
requested the jury award $8,054,925. After                     praising Navarro for her “evenhandedness,                        married to Brian Rutledge, who prosecutes
                                                               intellect, and spirit of service that Americans                  criminal cases in the District Attorney’s
the twelve day trial, the jury deliberated for
                                                               expect and deserve from their federal                            office. The couple has three sons, ages 11,
four hours and awarded Plaintiff $5,551.435.
                                                               judges.” President Obama thanked Navarro                         9, and 6.
The jury found Plaintiff to be 49 percent
at fault and the Defendant 51 percent at                       for her “continued willingness to serve”
fault, thereby reducing the Plaintiff’s award                  and expressed his confidence that she will
to $2,831,231. Giglio v. FGA, Inc., decided                    “dispense justice with unwavering integrity
May 12, 2009.                                                  and impartiality.”

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