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In an unpublished order by the Supreme Court of Nevada, the Court reversed a district court ruling granting summary judgment in a negligence action against The Orleans Hotel and Casino (“The Orleans”), after the hotel allegedly failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the plaintiff from being the victim of criminal conduct.

In Smith v. Coast Hotels and Casinos, Inc., the plaintiff was a guest at The Orleans when he became a victim of an alleged “trick-roll” during his stay. Shortly after the plaintiff invited two new female acquaintances to his hotel room, one of the acquaintances left the room, and returned with another person, alleged to be that acquaintance’s pimp. The alleged pimp then robbed and shot the plaintiff.
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According to an article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, fatal car crashes in Southern Nevada have dropped significantly during the first half of 2014. Last month, Lt. Dave Jacoby said during a Southern Nevada Traffic Safety Committee meeting that fatal vehicle crashes have dropped by nearly 20% as compared with the same point in 2013. Additionally, drunken driving arrests have fallen by about 25%, and fatal car accidents involving drunken drivers have decreased to just eleven alcohol-related fatalities, as compared with fifteen in 2013.

As reported in a study done by the Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan, 363 people lost their lives and 816 were seriously injured in impaired-driving crashes on Nevada roadways between 2008 and 2012. Male drivers aged 26 to 35 were involved in most impaired driving fatalities and serious injuries, followed by young male drivers aged 21 to 25. The highest proportion of impaired driving fatalities and serious injuries occurred during weekends. The study also found that 69% of fatalities and 83% of serious injuries occurred on urban roadways as opposed to rural ones.
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The Supreme Court of Nevada recently considered whether a husband who is separated from his wife may be charged with burglary of the marital home. In State v. White, the defendant and his wife had agreed to separate, and agreed that the wife would live in the marital home with the children during the week, and the defendant would live there with the children on the weekends. When one spouse was living in the home during his or her designated time, the other spouse would go elsewhere. The defendant retained a key to the residence.

The defendant learned that the wife had permitted her new boyfriend to move into the residence with her during the week, and began harassing her about it. On a Friday, the defendant arrived at the marital home earlier than usual, entered the house with his key, and asked to speak with the wife. Although she initially told the defendant that he was not supposed to be at the residence at that time, the wife finally agreed to speak with the defendant in a bedroom, while the boyfriend tended to one of the children in another bedroom. An argument between the wife and the defendant resulted in the defendant shooting the wife in the stomach, and then shooting the boyfriend in the arm and in the abdomen. The gunshot wound eventually killed the wife.
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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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On May 30, 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court issued its 4-3 opinion in Jacobs v. Adelson, et al., relative to the viability of a defamation action based upon a litigant’s statements to the media.

In Jacobs, a former executive of Las Vegas Sands Corporation (LVSC) had sued the company for wrongful termination. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged, among other things, that the CEO of LVSC had demanded that the plaintiff engage in illegal activities, and that the plaintiff’s refusal to participate in such acts led to his eventual termination from the company.
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On May 29, 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court held that, should an appellant in a criminal conviction die while his appeal is pending, the appeal may continue “upon proper substitution of a personal representative . . . when justice so requires.”

The appeal in Brass v. Nevada stemmed from the jury selection process leading to the conviction of brothers and co-defendants Ronnie and Jermaine Brass. Ronnie Brass, the deceased appellant, was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and murder with the use of a deadly weapon.
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Last week, a Washoe District Court judge ordered an insurance company to pay $50,000 after the insurer sent a representative to a court-ordered settlement conference in a dog-bite case with insufficient settlement authority, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.

In the underlying case, the plaintiff, James Moberly, alleges he was attacked by the defendants’ German Pointer in 2011, suffering several bites to his arms and legs. The attack also caused the plaintiff to fall backwards, aggravating a pre-existing spinal injury. The plaintiff’s claimed damages include more than $75,000 in medical expenses, plus a claim for $850,000 in punitive damages. The plaintiff was the fourth of five persons that the dog attacked before being euthanized.
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Last month, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Dixon v. Williams, directing the federal district court to grant the criminal defendant a writ of habeas corpus that requires the State of Nevada to either release the defendant from custody, or initiates a new trial for the defendant relative to his second-degree murder conviction.

The criminal charges arose from an altercation between the defendant and his two younger brothers, and the victim and the victim’s friends that began in a parking lot of a Las Vegas night club. There, the victim kicked the defendant’s girlfriend’s vehicle and screamed obscenities at her, and then at the defendant, after the vehicle hit the victim’s arm when backing up. The victim pulled a box cutter out of his pocket, but a club security officer intervened, grabbing the victim’s arm and preventing him from using it.
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Earlier this month, the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry issued a press release regarding Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) investigation of the December 9, 2013 explosion and fire at Bango Refining NV, LLC, which left one employee with severe burn injuries.

According to the press release, workers at the oil refinery had been attempting to thaw an asphalt recycle line, which had slowed due to sub-zero temperatures. Among other methods employed to heat the line, the workers used a weed burner-style propane tank and torch to provide direct external heat to the line. That method was not prescribed in Bango’s standard operating instructions. The workers also applied plant steam inside the line.
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Under the well-known Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a criminal defendant may not be punished more than once for the same offense, unless a statute clearly authorizes such punishment. As the Nevada Supreme Court discussed in its opinion in LaChance v. State issued earlier this month, the Double Jeopardy Clause is violated when a defendant is convicted and sentenced for two offenses, one of which is a lesser-included offense of the other.

In LaChance, the defendant was convicted of several charges, including domestic battery by strangulation, domestic battery causing substantial bodily harm, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of sale (“possession-for-sale”), and possession of a controlled substance (“simple possession”). The charges arose out of a domestic violence incident and a subsequent search of the motel room where the defendant and the victim later stayed. During the search, the police found marijuana in plastic bags, as well as approximately 4.6 pounds of marijuana and several scales in a duffel bag belonging to the defendant.
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