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    The Lawletter Blog

    Alfred C. Shackelford III

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    PERSONAL INJURY: Nuisance Claims—Recovery for Emotional Distress

    Posted by Alfred C. Shackelford III on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

    The Lawletter Vol 40 No 10

    Fred Shackelford, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         Can damages for emotional distress be recovered in a nuisance claim in the absence of physical injury? That was one of three issues of first impression that were recently addressed by the Nevada Supreme Court. In Land Baron Investments, Inc. v. Bonnie Springs Family LP, 356 P.3d 511 (Nev. 2015), a purchaser (Land Baron) contracted to buy land on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The land was largely undeveloped, and the buyer intended to construct a subdivision there. Land Baron conducted no due diligence to investigate the availability of water and access rights, and these issues were not addressed in the contract.

         Before the closing occurred, it became apparent that Land Baron would be unable to acquire sufficient water and access rights for the proposed project. Land Baron stopped making payments to extend the escrow period, thereby breaching the contract. Land Baron then filed a complaint with the Clark County Commissioner's office, alleging that there were multiple code violations on the property. The Commissioner and other state and local authorities conducted a large-scale investigation on the premises at a time when guests and children were present.

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    Topics: Fred Shackelford, personal injury, no physical injury, The Lawletter Vol 40 No 10, nuisance claim, recovery for emotional distress

    PERSONAL INJURY: Negligence—Innkeeper's Duty When Evicting Guests

    Posted by Alfred C. Shackelford III on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 @ 08:07 AM

    The Lawletter Vol 40 No 6

    Fred Shackelford, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         Can an innkeeper be held liable when an evicted guest is injured after leaving the premises? Yes, according to the Colorado Supreme Court, in a decision that may apply in other contexts as well. In Westin Operator, LLC v. Groh, 2015 CO 25, 347 P.3d 606, a hotel's security guards required a registered guest (Jillian Groh) and several of her friends to leave the premises because they were intoxicated and boisterous. One of the friends asked if the group could wait in the hotel's lobby while they called a taxi, because it was freezing outside, but the guards refused this request. Rather than calling a taxi, the group drove away in Groh's car, and an accident occurred about 15 miles from the hotel. An action was brought against the hotel for Groh's injuries.

         The court considered whether the hotel owed a duty of care by drawing an analogy to cases involving injury to common-carrier passengers. The court relied on section 314A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, which recognizes certain special relationships that give rise to a duty of care. That section expressly refers to innkeepers and common carriers, as well as any "possessor of land who holds it open to the public," Restatement § 314A(3), and it imposes a duty "(a) to protect them [invited members of the public] against unreasonable risk of physical harm, and (b) to give them first aid after it knows or has reason to know that they are ill or injured, and to care for them until they can be cared for by others," id.§ 314A(1).

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    Topics: Fred Shackelford, personal injury, innkeeper, duty of reasonable care, The Lawletter Vol 40 No 6, evicted guests

    PERSONAL INJURY: Does Medical Monitoring in Absence of Present Physical Injury Merit Award of Damages?

    Posted by Alfred C. Shackelford III on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

    The Lawletter Vol 40 No 2

    Fred Shackelford, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         If a defendant's negligence causes no physical injury, can a plaintiff recover damages for the expense of monitoring his or her medical condition? That was the issue addressed by the Nevada Supreme Court in Sadler v. PacifiCare of Nevada, 340 P.3d 1264 (Nev. 2014). In that case, the plaintiffs sued a health maintenance organization for negligently failing to oversee the quality of care provided by medical providers in its network. The providers allegedly used unsafe injection practices, potentially exposing the plaintiffs to the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases.

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    Topics: medical monitoring, damages, personal injury, quality of care, no physical injury

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