Articles Posted in Defective Premises Lawyer

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In a recent decision, the United States District Court, District of Nevada, examined whether a roofing contractor who performed work at a Wal-Mart was required to indemnify Wal-Mart for damages for which it may be liable relative to a woman’s slip and fall in the store.

In Goben v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the plaintiff, Beverly Goben, suffered personal injuries when she slipped and fell on water inside a Wal-Mart store. Goben sued Wal-Mart for negligence. Wal-Mart, in turn, sued North American Roofing (NAR), a contractor that had performed work on the store’s roof. Wal-Mart alleged that NAR’s faulty work created a leak in the roof that led to Goben’s slip-and-fall incident.
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A Las Vegas Fashion Show Mall employee was violently beaten by a convicted sex offender in a parking lot across the street from the Mall. LeMon Butler, 37-years old, allegedly shattered the employee’s car window and then pulled her out of her car. Seeing the brutal attack, a witness quickly alerted Las Vegas Metro Police who were parked in a van outside the Mall. Metro Police apprehended Butler after he fled into the Trump Hotel.

In Las Vegas, a business can be liable for injuries employees and customers suffer on their premise. Under Nevada premise liability laws, which cover Las Vegas, a business has a legal duty to keep their properties, buildings and grounds, safe. This duty means a business not only must adequately equip their buildings and grounds, if their business is a parking lot, they must provide sufficient lighting and other safety features. Adequate security personnel or personal protection may also be required. When a business fails to keep its premises safe, it can be considered negligent.

Proving a Nevada business is liable for injuries sustained on their property is not always clear-cut, though. First it must be shown there are actually physical and/or emotional injuries. Next it must be clearly established that these injuries occurred on the business’ premises. If the injuries occurred off the business’ premises, it is much more difficult to show the business is negligent and therefore responsible for any injuries sustained.

After the first two issues are proven, evidence must then be presented establishing how the business was negligent, that it was foreseeable injuries could incur, and that if adequate security measures had been implemented the injuries could have been prevented.

The Las Vegas Fashion Show Mall is not the owner of the parking lot and mall employees and customers have been advised to park in the Mall’s designated areas.

Butler was previously arrested for loitering for prostitution and DUI. He served time in prison for a 2003 sexual assault. For the Mall attack, Butler was charged with one count each of attempt to commit sexual assault, battery with the intent to commit sexual assault, kidnapping with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder. Since Butler was also driving with a suspended driver’s license and an improper vehicle license, he is also charged with one count each of these offenses.
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Terrell Durr was arrested recently by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for the shooting outside the Déjà Vu Showgirls Strip Club in November, 2011. According to the Las Vegas police, 23-year-old Robert James Turman got into an argument inside the strip club. Strip club security guards then escorted him outside the club. While in the strip club valet area, Turman was approached by a hooded sweatshirt man who shot Turman multiple times, then ran away. Turman died later at the hospital. Another strip club patron was also injured when a bullet grazed his foot. This patron was treated at the hospital and released.

Premise liability laws establish the legal duty a property owner, i.e. a nightclub owner, has to anyone while they are on the property owner’s property. Nevada premise liability laws, which cover Las Vegas, require property owners, which include nightclub owners, to keep their properties, buildings and grounds, safe for patrons. This means Las Vegas nightclub owners not only must provide adequate security personnel or personal protection for their patrons, but also equip their buildings and grounds (hallways, parking lots, lobbies, etc) with sufficient lighting, locks, and any other features necessary to keep their patrons safe. When a Las Vegas nightclub owner fails to make their buildings and ground reasonably safe and a dangerous situation or condition arises on their property, they can be considered negligent and held responsible for injuries a patron sustains or wrongful death.

Proving a Las Vegas nightclub owner is liable for injuries, such as from a shooting, or a wrongful death sustained on their property is not always clear-cut, though. First it must be shown there are actually physical and/or emotional injuries, or a death. Next it must be clearly established that these injuries or death occurred on the nightclub owner’s property or an area under the control of the nightclub owner. If the injuries or death occurred off the nightclub owner’s property or an area not under the nightclub owner’s control, it is much more difficult to show the nightclub owner has been negligent and is therefore responsible.

After the first two issues are proven, evidence must then be presented establishing how the nightclub owner was negligent, that it was foreseeable injuries could incur, and that if adequate security measures had been implemented the injuries could have been prevented.
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In 2009, 12% of Nevada’s workplace fatalities were caused by workers falling to a lower level. Under Nevada’s workers’ compensation statutes, employers not exempt by statute, are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees for injuries they sustain in the course and scope of their employment. NRS 616C.150(1). Workers ‘ compensation covers medical treatment, compensation for lost work time due to temporary total or permanent disability, awards for permanent or total disability, death benefits to dependents, vocational rehabilitation, and other related expenses.

While workers’ compensation has generally been awarded regardless of fault (employer or employee), the Nevada business community now wonders if a recent decision by the Nevada Supreme Court will open the door for the employee’s fault to be considered as a factor in determining workers’ compensation awards.

Under NRS 616A.020 exclusive remedy doctrine, in exchange for an entitlement to benefits, an employee cannot sue their employer and an employer cannot deny benefits to an employee for work-related injuries, regardless of whose fault caused the injury.

In Fitzgeralds Casino/Hotel and Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. versus Gary Mogg, Mogg, a security guard, injured himself when he fell over his chair while trying to put his feet on top of his desk. Fitzgerald’s Casino/Hotel v. Mogg, No. 55818 (11/18/11). Fitzgeralds Casino and Cannon Cochran denied Mogg’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits. An appeals officer reversed the denial and awarded Mogg workers’ compensation benefits.

Fitzgeralds Casino and Cannon Cochran filed an appeal of the appeals officer’s decision with the District Court. The District Court upheld the appeals officer’s decision. Fitzgeralds Casino and Cannon Cochran filed a further appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court raising two primary issues: 1) whether Mogg’s injuries arose out of and in the scope of his employment, and 2) whether Mogg’s conduct was barred by an implied prohibition against such conduct so as to avoid the application of the personal comfort doctrine.

Regarding both issues, the Nevada Supreme Court found that “injuries resulting from employment-related risks, such as a defective chair, are ‘all the obvious kinds of injur[ies] that one thinks of at once as industrial injur[ies],’ however “where an injury is caused by a condition personal to the employee, such as a bad knee, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or the like, or while engaging in unreasonable personal comfort activities, compensation for such an injury is generally unavailable.” Further, if the chair was not defective, was Mogg, because of his job, at an increased risk for injury, which is compensable, than the general public would be, which is not compensable. Finding no evidence from the appeal’s officer to answer these questions, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the grant of workers’ compensation to Mogg and remanded the case back to the appeal’s officer for further findings.
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With over a million visitors to Las Vegas each year, the city of Las Vegas has hundreds of parking lots and parking structures to accommodate motor vehicles. As such, parking lot accidents are bound to occur. But when a parking lot accident occurs in Las Vegas, who exactly is liable?

In Las Vegas, business owners have the responsibility to keep their premises which include their parking lot(s), safe from causing injury. If a Las Vegas business owner does not keep their premises safe, and a personal injury, such as a car accident, occurs, the Las Vegas business owner may be liable to the injured party(ies) if the injury was reasonable and foreseeable. To be liable the Las Vegas business owner must also owe a duty of care to the injured party(ies) and the injured party(ies) must show that the business owner breached that duty of care. Injured parties which can be owed a duty of care include customers, employees, and agents.

For instance, a Las Vegas business is aware there is a hole in their parking lot. They do not cover the hole, nor do they put a barrier around the hole. On the way to their car, a customer trips in the hole and suffers injuries. First, the Las Vegas business owner owes a duty of care to this individual because they were a customer. Second, it is foreseeable that a person, such as a customer, could be injured by the parking lot hole. Therefore a court could find that it is reasonable that the Las Vegas business should have taken steps to protect persons using their parking lot from injury. Furthermore, by not taking such steps to protect their customer, the Las Vegas business could be held liable for any injuries the customer sustained.

Parking lot accidents which occur because of circumstances, such as weather, that are outside the control of the Las Vegas business owner, can preclude the Las Vegas business owner from being liable for injuries even to someone they owed a duty of care. In these circumstances, another person or even the injured party may be held liable.

For instance, a customer pulls out of a Las Vegas parking lot space without looking in both directions. The customer hits another customer walking through the parking lot or another car entering the parking lot. In these circumstances, while it is reasonable and foreseeable that car accidents will occur in the parking lot, the customers driving their cars or the pedestrian in the parking lot could be an intervening cause to exclude the Las Vegas business from liability.
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Scenario One: You’re out with your friends at a Las Vegas nightclub when a fight breaks out next to you. Though you try to get out of harm’s way, another patron slams into you. And no matter how hard you try to get up and away from the melee, you are kicked and bruised as other patrons try to get away. In addition to bruises, you suffer two broken ribs, severely bruised fingers, and a concussion.

Scenario Two: Standing in line to gain entry into a one of the hottest nightclubs on the Las Vegas strip, a patron gets belligerent when the bouncer refuses him entry. He takes a swing at the bouncer but his fist slams into your face.

Scenario Three: You’ve had a great night out with your friends at an area nightclub. As you walk to your car, which is parked in the nightclub’s parking lot, you’re mugged and pushed to the ground, sustaining a broken arm and bruises.

Though these nightclub scenarios are not everyday occurrences, assault and batteries, even fatalities, at nightclubs do occur. An innocent night on the town takes a wrong turn and tragic circumstances occur. In addition to physical injuries, assaults can cause emotional suffering.

Premise liability laws establish the legal duty a property owner, i.e. a nightclub owner, has to anyone while they are on the property owner’s property. Nevada premise liability laws, which cover Las Vegas, require property owners, which include nightclub owners, to keep their properties, buildings and grounds, safe for patrons. This means Las Vegas nightclub owners not only must provide adequate security personnel or personal protection for their patrons, but also equip their buildings and grounds (hallways, parking lots, lobbies, etc) with sufficient lighting, locks, and any other features necessary to keep their patrons safe. When a Las Vegas nightclub owner fails to make their buildings and ground reasonably safe and a dangerous situation or condition arises on their property, they can be considered negligent and held responsible for injuries a patron sustains.

Proving a Las Vegas nightclub owner is liable for injuries sustained on their property is not always clear-cut, though. First it must be shown there are actually physical and/or emotional injuries. Next it must be clearly established that these injuries occurred on the nightclub owner’s property. If the injuries occurred off the nightclub owner’s property, it is much more difficult to show the nightclub owner has been negligent and is therefore responsible for the injuries sustained. For instance, if instead of parking in the nightclub’s parking lot, the patron parked two blocks away on a city street, the city of Las Vegas, and not the nightclub owner could be liable for the injuries.

After the first two issues are proven, evidence must then be presented establishing how the nightclub owner was negligent, that it was foreseeable injuries could incur, and that if adequate security measures had been implemented the injuries could have been prevented.
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A customer was detained, battered and assaulted at a casino on the strip after vocalizing displeasure with the machine he was playing. The costumer, who was also an employee at the casino, complained that the machine was not paying out.

The customer then called over a technician who informed him that the machine was working correctly. Dissatisfied with this response and insisting that the machine was broken he asked to speak with a supervisor.

Several security guards arrived to assess the situation and began conversing with the customer. He retold the security guards of that machine’s problems and they instructed him to contact the Gaming Control Board. Afterwards the customer got on the phone and when he walked back to the machine he was confronted by head of security. Next the customer was restrained with his arms behind his back, forced to the ground and detained.

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A case recently settled in Clark County District Court and the ruling awarded a Palms customer $6.6 million after he was injured at the casino. The suit stated another man dove after a water bottle that had been thrown by a “Palms Girl” promoter and knocked him to the ground. He sustained multiple injuries as a result ranging from knee pain, neck pain and back pain to sleep apnea, depression and obesity. Evidence was given by medical experts, which substantiated his claims.

The Palms claims that such actions go against their policy and a staff meeting was held instructing employees not to throw items into a crowd. However, despite these claims the Palms had a goal post constructed in its sports book when the Palms girl, who was an independent contractor, threw the water bottle.

The $6.6 million dollars awarded against the Palms for negligent supervision included past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, past and future lost income, pre-judgment interest as well as legal fees and costs.

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Abuse among the elderly is becoming increasing common in nursing homes, assisted living homes, hospitals, hospices, rehab facilities and even their own households. This problem has been going widely unnoticed though due to poor public awareness. Education and awareness campaigns are helping family members to identify the problem and giving them an outlet to voice their concerns and resolve this growing issue in Nevada.

Abuse happens in many forms including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, verbal abuse, neglect and invasion of privacy. These problems can be hard to identify but the warning signs are there. Asking the right questions and talking to the right people are key factors in acknowledging if someone you know is being abused. 550,000 seniors are victims every year but only 1 in 5 cases are even reported.

Laws are in place to protect the elderly and taking the right steps is the only way to resolve this rapidly growing problem. If you feel you or someone you love is suffering from neglect or abuse websites like the National Center of Elderly Abuse (www.ncea.aoa.gov) can help. The personal injury lawyers of Lagomarsino Law care about our clients and can help resolve elderly abuse or neglect cases. If you or someone you know are affected by any of these issues and would like to speak to someone please don’t hesitate to contact our lawyers for a free confidential case review. Call us toll free at 1-866-414-0400.

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Accidents come in many forms: automobile, boating, plane, train, slip and fall, dog bites, work related and defective products just to name a few. The most important thing in any accident is to immediately call 911, and not another number like 311 or a medical response company according to county and health district officials. No mater how common or rare an accident is, reporting it should be one of the first things that happen after an accident.

An accident occurred at a Las Vegas casino a couple years ago and they were fined for their failure to do so after a man fell 40 feet to his death. A major reason this is so important is the Southern Nevada’s dual response system that sends a fire department and a paramedic team simultaneously to the scene of an accident.

If you have been injured in an accident or would like to speak to someone about your rights, contact our lawyers for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call toll free 866-414-0400.