Notable Cases

Notable Personal Injury Cases in Reno Nevada

The firm has been lead and associate counsel in many precedent setting cases in Nevada in products liability, premises liability, automobile negligence, insurance bad faith, medical malpractice and recovery of compensatory and damages. The following cases are examples of these landmark cases:

General Electric v. Bush , 88 Nev. 360, 498 P.2d 366, (S.Ct. 1972)
After the trial in this case, the firm and our co-counsel, James F. Boccardo, received national attention and was featured in the January 7, 1970, issue of Time Magazine. The case involved catastrophic injuries to a man crushed by a heavy piece of equipment in a mining accident. A jury verdict of $3,650,000 was the highest award ever attained on behalf of an individual plaintiff in United States history at the time. This case established two major legal precedents in Nevada in product liability and damages. It rejected the defense of assumption of risk and contributory negligence in strict products liability cases and was the first case to allow damages ($500,000) for loss of consortium on behalf of a spouse.

Rogers v. Torrey Ltd. , 85 Nev. 548, 459 P.2d 214 (S.Ct. 1969)
This case concerning premises liability law in Nevada established that a landowner owed a duty to a customer on their premises for dangerous conditions and overruled prior law that contributory negligence was a complete bar to recovery for the plaintiff.

Worrell v. Barnes , 87 Nev. 204, 484 P.2d 573 S.Ct. 1971)
This case established the precedent that strict products liability extended beyond products such as food, tools and motor vehicles and applied to a heating system constructed in a remodeled residential home.

McGarry v. United States of America , 549 F.2d 587 (9thCir. 1976)
The firm tried to the Federal Court this wrongful death electrocution case of an employee working on a drill rig at the Nevada Test Site on land owned by the federal government. The McGarry case established that the United States of America owed a non-delegable duty to workers of independent contractors on federal land engaged in extra-hazardous duties, that the United States is subject to liability for wrongful death damages and that comparative negligence, if any, is not a complete bar to recovery and was a question for the trier of fact to determine.

Ainsworth v. Combined Insurance Company of America , 105 Nev. 237, 774 P.2d 513 (S.Ct. 1992)
In this insurance bad faith case, our firm, in association with Reno attorney, Peter Chase Neumann, tried to a jury an elderly disabled man's claim against an insurance company for disability benefits of approximately $9,600 dollars. The jury awarded damages, including $5,935,000 in punitive damages, against Combined Insurance Company for the bad faith conduct the company engaged when it denied the disability benefits. The Nevada Supreme Court reinstated the punitive damage jury verdict after it was struck down by the trial judge and established standards of conduct that insurance companies must follow in handling claims brought on behalf of Nevada policyholders for insurance benefits as well as standards applicable to punitive damage awards.

Cotter v. Smith, M.D. 107 Nev. 267, 810 P.2d 1204 (S.Ct. 1991)
This medical malpractice trial resulted in a judge imposed verdict in the amount of $550,000 to the victim of malpractice after his vocal chords were partially paralyzed as a result of a surgical procedure. The case was affirmed on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court and resulted in the clarification and establishment of the rules of "informed consent" that physicians must follow when advising patients prior to undergoing medical treatment.

State of Nevada v. Hill , 114 Nev. 810, 963 P.2d 480 (S.Ct. 1998)
This automobile collision wrongful death trial resulted in a successful jury verdict against the State of Nevada and on appeal established the right to recover damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress as separate claims despite the statutory cap on damages against governmental agencies in the amount of $50,000.