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Medical Marijuana and Wrongful Termination

Medical Marijuana and Wrongful Termination

Nevada law has allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes since 2001. Holders of valid, state-issued medical marijuana identification cards have certain rights beyond those of users under the state’s law decriminalizing recreational use. Among these are certain protections in the workplace, but these protections have important limits.

Nevada law requires employers to “attempt to make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of an employee who engages in the medical use of marijuana.” NRS 453A.800. The statute provides that an accommodation needn’t be made if it poses a threat of harm to people or property, imposes an undue hardship upon the employer, or would prevent the employee from completing his or her job responsibilities.

Unlike the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws that require employers to make reasonable accommodations for protected traits, Nevada’s medical marijuana law requires only that employers “attempt” to make such accommodations. Between the “reasonable business purposes” exception and the “attempt” proviso, an employer has ample room to fire an employee after only a half-hearted effort to find a workable accommodation. This may mean that an unscrupulous employer might fire an employee after engaging in an empty, bad faith compliance exercise. Employees fired in this circumstance needn’t accept it.

There are other significant limits to an employer’s obligations to accommodate an employee’s medical marijuana use. Employers are not required to allow the use of medical marijuana in the workplace. And an employer is also not required to modify a job or an employee’s working conditions if they are based upon the employer’s reasonable business purposes. Though a “reasonable accommodation” might be to allow an employee to use marijuana in a designated spot, an employer might conclude that an employee’s job isn’t compatible with being under the influence. These are close questions. Some employers are likely to be more accommodating than others.

Bear in mind that federal law still outlaws the use of marijuana for any purpose. Even though state laws permit medical use, federal laws that address healthcare rights don’t extend to marijuana. Federal antidiscrimination laws like the ADA therefore do not protect workers from being fired solely because they use marijuana to treat a medical condition. On the other hand, an employer might still violate the ADA if it uses an employee’s medical marijuana use as a pretext to discriminate against a protected disability.

Given the conflict between federal and state law, marijuana has an awkward legal status that creates ambiguities for employers and their employees who use it to treat medical conditions. An employee who gets fired due to medical marijuana use should consult with an attorney to explore whether the termination was wrongful. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez defends the legal rights of clients in the Las Vegas area. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Employer Obligations to Secure Employee Privacy Against Cyber Attacks

Employer Obligations to Secure Employee Privacy Against Cyber Attacks

Major data theft has become a fact of life in the digital age. When an employer suffers a security breach and loses sensitive information about its employees, employees can face long-term problems with identity theft and violated privacy. But does a Nevada employer face legal liability to its affected employees when such a breach occurs? The law is unclear.

Distinguishing between deliberate disclosures and unlawful data breaches

Employers are required to maintain the confidentiality of a wide range of employee information. For example, under federal and state law, health records must be scrupulously kept apart from other information, with access limited only to appropriate individuals. Employees are entitled to an expectation of privacy regarding other records as well. An employer shouldn’t leave documents with wage information lying around for anyone to look at.

These kinds of restrictions generally prohibit deliberate disclosures of information. In the context of a data breach, in which an outside actor unlawfully breaks into a company’s computer system and steals information, the employer has not deliberately disclosed anything. An employee whose information is stolen must rely on a different theory to recover compensation. One possibility is negligence.

An employer’s duty to protect employee information from theft

Cases addressing this question have thus far shown that proving negligence can be a challenge for employees affected by data breaches. Among other things, proving negligence requires a plaintiff to show that a defendant breached a legal duty of care, and as a consequence caused the plaintiff to suffer a compensable loss.

In Castillo v. Seagate Tech., LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187428 (N.D. Cal. 2016), employees sued an employer for negligence after the employer disclosed W-2 information to a third party that requested it using a malicious phishing scheme. The hackers used employee data to file fraudulent tax returns. Significantly, the court held that the employer owed its employees, together with their spouses and dependents, a legal duty to protect their personal information against foreseeable attempts to steal it. But the court went on to find that many of the employees in the case hadn’t shown that they’d suffered compensable damages as a consequence of the employer’s breach of duty. In short, even though the company owed its employees a duty to prevent theft of their personal information, the employees couldn’t sue for negligence without showing that the theft resulted in real costs.

It’s not clear whether a Nevada court would follow the logic of Castillo to impose a similar legal duty upon employers to protect employee records. Courts elsewhere have not imposed such an obligation under similar circumstances. For example, in Dittman v. UPMC, 154 A.3d 318 (Sup. Ct. Pa. 2017), a Pennsylvania court held that an employer had no legal duty to protect electronic records against an attack unless the likelihood of such an attack was well understood, for example because the employer had suffered a similar attack in the past.

Talk to an attorney if your information has been stolen

Talking to an attorney is an important step for employees who have had their personal information stolen from an employer’s systems. The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez provide personalized, caring guidance to clients in the Las Vegas area. We are happy to explain your legal options for seeking compensation after an employer data breach. For a no-cost attorney consultation, call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

Natural Disasters and First Responder Workers’ Comp

Natural Disasters and First Responder Workers’ Comp

During natural disasters first responders often rush toward the places of greatest hazard. Wildfires, severe weather, floods, and even earthquakes are among the disasters emergency personnel may face here in Nevada. And as we saw during the 2017 firestorms in California, from time to time Nevadans also go to other states to lend assistance to local crews. First responders may have questions about how Nevada’s workers’ compensation system protects them during these events.

Disaster declarations and workers’ compensation

Nevada’s industrial insurance law doesn’t specifically address natural disasters. But Nevada law authorizes the governor to declare a state of emergency in the event of a disaster “of unprecedented size and destructiveness.” Part of the rationale for this law is to ensure that the state can access federal resources to respond to crises. The governor used this authority last year to respond to severe weather in the state. The law also grants the governor broad authority to make and modify rules and regulations to, among other things, ensure the availability of emergency response personnel in times of crisis. NRS 414.060.

Similar laws have been used in other states to facilitate provision of workers’ compensation benefits to first responders who are involved in disaster relief efforts. For example, in response to Hurricane Harvey the governor of Texas ordered workers’ compensation insurers to continue providing benefits to workers in affected areas, while also extending deadlines and expanding coverage in important ways. Under the right conditions, the Nevada governor could take similar steps.

The Texas example highlights an important consideration during major disasters. In some cases a worker’s ordinary doctor or pharmacy may not be accessible. Workers with existing, covered conditions may need exceptions to their benefits rules, such coverage for out-of-network care or deadline extensions to account for lost power or disrupted communications. Absent a specific declaration from the governor or another authorized government official, workers in this situation may need help getting the care they need.

Workers’ comp has you covered

Even without an emergency declaration from the governor, Nevada’s workers’ compensation system should cover first responders who are injured during natural disasters while they are doing their jobs. Nevada’s industrial insurance system covers injuries that arise out of and in the course of a worker’s employment. NRS 616C.150. Police officers, firefighters, and EMS professionals who respond to natural disasters at the behest of their employers are covered. State law also explicitly provides coverage for volunteer firefighters, both nonprofessionals and professionals alike. Law enforcement personnel are typically authorized to take steps to protect the public even when they are off-duty, but it’s worth checking an employer’s policies to ensure that off-duty activities are covered.

Nevada’s workers’ compensation law specifically provides coverage for injuries suffered out of state.  NRS 616C.190. First responders who go out of state to assist local agencies can do so knowing any injury they suffer will be covered.

At Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez we are proud of our long history of helping clients in the Las Vegas first-responder community resolve their workers’ compensation disputes. During emergencies insurers can become difficult to work with, due to high volumes or financial pressures. Having an experienced attorney staying on top of a dispute can make all the difference. For a free attorney consultation, call us at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Health Care Choice and Workers’ Comp

Healthcare Choice and Workers’ Comp

People who are injured on the job can feel forced to work with health care providers that the insurance administrator dictates. Too often claims adjusters choose doctors more for their insurer-friendly track record rather than their concern for patient welfare. Injured workers should know that the law gives injured workers a choice of doctors, but exercising that right requires the patient to follow certain steps.

Nevada’s industrial insurance law specifies the procedures for selecting a physician to evaluate and treat a worker’s injuries. The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations maintains a list of physicians it has qualified to treat workplace injuries. Insurers keep their own lists of physicians, whom they choose from among the DIR-approved list. After an injured worker submits a claim for benefits, the insurer can request the employee undergo an independent medical examination, or IME, with a doctor from the insurer’s list. The patient has the right to select the doctor who performs the IME from the insurer’s approved list, without first getting insurer approval. However, this exam is not optional, and failure to attend can be grounds for denying a claim.

If the injured worker isn’t satisfied with the doctor who performed the IME, NRS 616C.090 provides that he or she has the right to choose a second doctor from the insurer’s approved list. Although insurers and physicians are required to notify employees of this right, many don’t. The choice must be made within the first 90 days of the claim. A request for a change of doctor after the 90-day window becomes subject to insurer approval.

Even though there are limits on which doctor a patient can choose, making a choice is a vital part of protecting an injured worker’s rights. Insurers are in the business of finding ways to deny claims. Their incentive is to choose doctors who will diagnose conditions and recommend treatments that impose the least cost upon insurers. The doctors similarly have a strong financial incentive to keep their patient volumes high by making the “right” choices for insurers. In this system it’s essential for injured workers to actively seek out caregivers who will put the worker’s health ahead of profit.

In circumstances where the deck seems to be stacked against an injured worker, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make a big difference. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented injured workers in the Las Vegas area. If you have been injured at work and have questions about your right to choose a doctor, our attorneys can help. To speak to an attorney at no cost, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.

Suing Cruise Ship Operators for Personal Injury

Suing Cruise Ship Operators for Personal Injury

Even though Nevada is landlocked, many Nevadans enjoy taking ocean cruises. Like any other big venue, a cruise ship can present hazards to guests. A passenger could slip and fall on a wet deck. Passengers could get sick thanks to unhygienic conditions in the ship’s galley. Someone who suffers a serious injury that requires expensive medical care and time off work will need to work with a personal injury lawyer to overcome the challenges involved with pursuing lawsuits against a cruise line.

Liability waivers and other contract provisions complicate recovery

Cruise ships are a kind of common carrier. Common carriers owe passengers the highest duty of care to prevent injury. Many cruise lines ask their passengers to sign waivers of liability for accidents that happen in connection with different activities on the ship or during off-ship excursions that the cruise line arranges. The enforceability of a liability waiver can be a vital preliminary issue in any personal injury case.

Federal maritime law restricts the applicability of liability waivers in some situations. Under 46 U.S.C. §30509, the owner or agent of a vessel transporting passengers between two ports cannot limit its liability for a passenger’s personal injury or death that results from the negligence of the owner or the owner’s employees or agents. For example, a passenger who was injured while participating in an on-ship simulated surfing attraction was able to move forward with a lawsuit despite having signed a waiver of liability specific to the attraction. Johnson v. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., 448 Fed. Appx. 846 (11th Cir. 2011). But owners are allowed to disclaim damages for emotional distress, mental suffering, and psychological injury.

Cruise lines may not be responsible for the actions of contractors and operators of off-ship attractions. Even though a cruise line can’t limit its liability for its own negligence, under some circumstances it may not be liable for the negligence of third parties. For example, a cruise line was not found vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent catamaran tour operator in Henderson v. Carnival Corp., 125 F. Supp. 2d 1375 (S.D. Fla. 2000). But in Smolnikar v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., 757 F. Supp. 2d 1308 (S.D. Fla. 2011), the court allowed a lawsuit to go forward where the plaintiff alleged that the cruise line was negligent in how it selected third-party excursion operators.

Applicable law, venue, and other roadblocks

Any lawsuit against a cruise line must also contend with a host of complex legal issues. Cruises are governed by maritime law, which is a broad term covering a blend of federal, state, and even international rules. A passenger’s contract will specify which jurisdiction’s laws apply to it. Companies will often specify that they can only be sued in a particular state or, quite often, only in a foreign country. Cruise lines can also try to steer passenger disputes into arbitration, where options for recovery can be more limited. The attorneys for injured plaintiffs will need to address some or all of these issues as part of a case, often with the help of lawyers in other jurisdictions.

GGRM is here to help injured Las Vegas residents

The attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have broad experience with personal injury cases. If you have been injured on a cruise we can help you get started with examining the complex legal questions involved in your case. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or ask us to reach out to you through our contact page.

Personal Injury and the Internet of Things

Personal Injury and the Internet of Things

Like other technological innovations, the Internet-of-things is raising novel legal questions. Ordinary devices like thermostats, microwaves, and door locks increasingly feature networked functionality. Although putting household devices on a network adds useful features, it also creates opportunities for hackers. Hacks to some kinds of networked devices have the potential to cause property damage and personal injury.

The vulnerability of Internet-of-things devices

Internet-of-things devices are notoriously insecure. Some have relatively simple software designs that are easily overcome by sophisticated hackers. Others, such as electronic door locks that respond to verbal commands, can be defeated by low tech methods like voice recorders. Because each device on a typical home network sits behind the network’s digital firewall, once a hacker breaches the security of one networked device it can be easier to access and control other devices on the network as well.

The potential harm from attacks against these devices ranges from inconvenience to serious danger. A home thermostat remotely set to its maximum temperature will run up utility bills and could damage a furnace, but could also make a home dangerously hot for an infirm resident. A clothes dryer that’s forced to run could cause a fire. Analysts have even discovered vulnerabilities in a motorized wheelchair that could allow it to be controlled remotely.

The potential for lawsuits

Someone who is injured as a consequence of security failures in these devices will need thoughtful guidance from an attorney. What appears to be the cause of an accident may only be a downstream consequence of failures elsewhere in a network. Determining the best strategy for recovering compensation will require a close technical analysis.

Let’s consider the hypothetical case of the hacked clothes dryer. The manufacturer of the dryer may be legally liable under a products liability theory. Even if the dryer was hacked and its electronic safety mechanisms disabled, perhaps it should have included a non-networked emergency shutoff to prevent overheating. But what if the dryer’s security was defeated by a hacker using a back door created by another device on the network, such as the homeowner’s printer? Was the failure of the printer’s security the real cause of the fire?

Insurance may be an important issue for homeowners facing this situation. Many insurance policies make exceptions for data breaches, which would need to be covered under a separate “cyber policy.” This has become a serious problem in the business insurance world, but could also be a problem for a homeowner whose claim is denied on grounds that the cause of the damage was outside the homeowner’s coverage.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

For over 45 years the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation. We are keeping close tabs on the evolving intersection of technology, law, and injury. If you have questions about how Internet-of-things devices could affect your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or request a call through our website.

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries

Bounce Houses Can Cause Serious Injuries

Bounce houses have become a popular feature of kids’ parties. As much as kids love them, bounce houses are also beginning to be blamed for a significant number of serious injuries. Before renting a bounce house or other inflatable amusement device for your next party, be sure to understand the risks.

The kinds of injuries that a bounce house can cause

Bounce houses have been responsible for a range of injuries, including:

  • Injuries resulting from collisions between participants.
  • “Flyaway” accidents in which children are trapped inside an unsecured inflatable that blows away.
  • Falls from the inflatable to the ground.
  • Twisted joints and broken bones caused by ordinary use.
  • Disease spread through inadequate sanitation.

Some kinds of injury can be avoided through proper setup and supervision. Operators need to ensure that inflatables are set up properly, including staking to prevent them from being picked up or knocked over by strong winds. And adults need to supervise kids while they’re on or around bounce houses to ensure that they aren’t using them in a dangerous way.

Bounce houses and personal injury lawsuits

The parent of a child who is injured using an inflatable may have the option of pursuing a lawsuit. Here are some potential issues that may arise in such a suit:

  • Who gets sued? The rental company that owns the bounce house may not be the only party at fault for a serious accident. The hosts of the party or other adults who took responsibility for supervising the children using the inflatable may also bear some degree of legal responsibility.
  • Liability waivers. Most companies that rent bounce houses require their customers to sign liability waivers, which in Nevada can leave a business off the hook even for its ordinary negligence, at least with respect to the person signing the waiver. An important question in any injury case will be whether the person who was injured is bound by the terms of the waiver.
  • Assumption of risk. People understand that jumping around inside a bounce house involves a degree of risk of ordinary bruises and bumps. But the legal defense of assumption of risk may not be available for serious injuries that are not as foreseeable. For example, the risk that a bounce house could fly away in a strong wind might not occur to someone. Bear in mind that assumption of risk may be a component of any rental agreement.
  • Contributory negligence. In many kinds of accidents, more than one party bears a degree of responsibility. Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule reduces the defendant’s financial liability by the amount the plaintiff was responsible for the accident. A parent who leaves a child unattended in a bounce house might in some situations be deemed to have acted negligently.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured while using a bounce house it’s important to understand your legal options. For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented personal injury clients in the Las Vegas area. Our attorneys are available to answer your questions and explain the potential avenues for seeking compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.

Legal Options When a Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Work

Legal Options When a Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Work

Each year millions of Americans get vaccinated against the flu. Yet even someone who has been vaccinated still can get sick. Although vaccines can reduce the severity of an illness, there’s always a chance that the vaccine simply won’t work, and hospitalization and even death can be the result. Someone who suffers this kind of unexpected illness may wonder if the vaccine manufacturer or healthcare provider could be legally liable for the damages resulting from an ineffective vaccine. The answer to this question may hinge on whether an intervening act of negligence rendered the vaccine ineffective.

Properly stored and administered vaccines are not a guarantee

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu vaccine’s effectiveness varies from year to year and from patient to patient. There are a host of reasons why this is true. One significant factor is the way each batch of vaccine is designed. Ideally, a vaccine is based on the form of flu that becomes prevalent in a given year. But anticipating which form of flu will become most prevalent involves a degree of guesswork that sometimes misses the mark. The effectiveness of a vaccine also varies by flu type: influenza A(H1N1) and influenza B viruses seem to be controlled more easily than influenza A(H3N2) viruses.

The inherent limited effectiveness of vaccines means that they are not a guarantee against illness. At best they improve the patient’s chances of staying healthy, and when applied to a significant number of people they protect the general population against an epidemic. This has an important implication for someone thinking about filing a lawsuit after getting sick. If each person in the chain of a vaccine’s life—from the manufacturer to the healthcare provider who administers the vaccine to patients—has acted with due care, it may be difficult to make a legal case.

Negligence in manufacture or handling

Something more than just a failed vaccine must be present for a personal injury lawsuit to go forward. Most personal injury suits claim that the defendant acted negligently. Negligence involves a failure to satisfy a duty of care toward the plaintiff. In a vaccine context, what might this involve? Here are some hypotheticals.

  • A vaccine manufacturer uses an incorrect formulation that renders the vaccine completely ineffective and fails to discover the problem in its quality control processes.
  • A healthcare provider fails to properly store the vaccine (for example, by storing it at too high of a temperature), destroying its effectiveness before it is administered.
  • A healthcare provider administers an expired vaccine.

Another challenge for potential plaintiffs is the need to show causation between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s injury. Except in rare cases of severe reactions, like Guillain-Barré syndrome, a vaccine doesn’t cause disease. Overcoming issues like this requires the expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served clients in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. Our attorneys are available to answer your personal injury questions. For a free consultation reach out to us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

The Enforceability of Liability Waivers Under Nevada Law

The Enforceability of Liability Waivers Under Nevada Law

All sorts of businesses ask their clients to sign liability waivers before taking part in risky recreational activities. From bicycle tours to whitewater rafting and skydiving, companies protect themselves against lawsuits by asking their customers to give up at least part of their legal right to sue in exchange for participation. When someone who has signed a liability waiver gets injured during the covered activity, the enforceability of the waiver can be a significant barrier to recovering compensation through the courts.

What a liability waiver can cover

Liability waivers are a type of contract between the person waiving their right to sue and the person the waiver protects. Because they’re contracts, the specific language of waivers matters a great deal. Most of the time a company that asks for a liability waiver will have a form that provides the maximum waiver permitted by law.

An enforceable liability waiver has several traits. First, it must be easy to understand. If it is written in incomprehensible legalese, so that ordinary people can easily misread it, a court will be more likely to throw it out. Second, its terms must be visible. Placing a waiver in fine print or hidden in a strange place, like on the back of a page, may render it unenforceable. Finally, a waiver can only limit a business’s liability for ordinary negligence.

A waiver cannot cover gross negligence or willful misconduct

A business cannot escape liability for the behavior of its employees and agents that is grossly negligent. Gross negligence is a legal standard that describes especially careless behavior in the face of a legal duty to show care toward another person. A skydiving operation might commit gross negligence by failing to follow proper procedures when packing parachutes.

A waiver also can’t cover liability for willful misconduct. If an employee or agent of a business deliberately tries to hurt someone, the waiver alone won’t protect the business from liability (though other defenses may apply).

The person signing the waiver must understand the risk

The enforceability of liability waivers is predicated on an underlying idea that the person signing the waiver understands the risks they are about to undertake. In legal terms, the person signing the waiver assumes the risk of the activity. To assume a risk, a person must voluntarily expose themselves to the risk, and must have actual knowledge of the risk. If a person who signs a liability waiver doesn’t fully appreciate the risks involved in an activity, there’s a possibility that the waiver isn’t valid, because the person signing didn’t know what was being waived. See Renaud v. 200 Convention Ctr., 102 Nev. 500 (1986).

GGRM can answer your questions about liability waivers

In an ideal world we would all have a lawyer at our side to help us understand important contracts like liability waivers before we sign them. But the fact is that we all sign waivers with the hope that everything goes well. If you have been injured during an activity that was covered by a liability waiver and you have questions about how it may affect your legal options, the lawyers at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez are happy to offer guidance. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476, or send us a request through our site.

Who Is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Minors?

Who Is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Minors?

Children and minors can cause serious personal injury to others through negligence or deliberate acts. When an injured person faces high medical costs, lost earning potential, or emotional trauma, a lawsuit may be necessary to recover compensation. Under Nevada law, parents and legal guardians of minors bear responsibility for their child’s wrongful act, with important limitations.

Parents are liable for the willful misconduct of their children

Nevada imposes joint and several liability upon the parents or a guardian having custody or control of a minor for damages caused by the minor’s acts of willful misconduct. NRS 41.470. The imputation of liability is “for all purposes of civil damages,” but the statute provides that the responsible adults’ liability cannot exceed $10,000 for each act by a minor. Licensed operators of foster homes are not responsible for the wrongful acts of children under their care unless they actively contribute to the act in question. NRS 424.085.

“Joint and several liability” means that each parent or guardian is individually responsible for the damages caused by the minor’s willful acts. The idea behind joint and several liability is that the injured plaintiff needn’t figure out which adult was more responsible for the child at the time of the injury. Instead, the parents or guardians must sort out amongst themselves who is going to pay the damages.

Notice what’s missing from NRS 41.470: liability for a minor’s negligence. In cases where a child causes an injury while behaving carelessly or clumsily, parents may not be liable. The Nevada Supreme Court has held that “willful misconduct” is something more than mere ordinary negligence or even recklessness. It requires an intent to do harm. Rocky Mountain Produce Trucking Co. v. Johnson, 78 Nev. 44, 51-52 (1962). The court in Roddick v. Plank, 608 F. Supp. 229 (D. Nev. 1985), held that NRS 41.470 did not impose liability upon the parent of a child who injured the plaintiff while negligently riding her bicycle.

Special rules for minors and firearms

Under NRS 41.472, a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person bears joint and several liability with the minor for injuries caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of a minor while using a firearm in certain circumstances. A responsible adult will be liable if he or she permitted the minor to use or possess a firearm and knew that the minor had previously been convicted of a crime or adjudicated delinquent, or had a propensity to commit violent acts, or if the adult knew that the minor intended to use the firearm for unlawful purposes.

Unlike NRS 41.470, NRS 41.472 does not limit the potential damages available to injured plaintiffs in these cases. But like NRS 41.470, the firearms rule carries important limitations. If the plaintiff cannot establish that the minor was not known to be a delinquent, have violent tendencies, or unlawful intent, liability will not stick. A parent therefore might not be liable under this statute if she allows an apparently responsible child to use a gun for target practice and the child instead uses the gun to take pot shots at passing cars, although other theories of negligence or criminal wrongdoing may apply in such cases.

GGRM can help sort out injuries caused by minors

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area recover the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about your legal options after being injured by a minor, our attorneys can answer them. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

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