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Options for Employees Injured in Corporate Sports Leagues

Options for Employees Injured in Corporate Sports Leagues

Suffering a serious injury during a company softball game doesn’t just ding your pride. It can also be expensive, because in many situations a company’s workers’ compensation insurance does not cover corporate sporting events.

Sports injuries typically aren’t work-related

A basic requirement for coverage under Nevada’s workers’ compensation law is that an injury must have arisen out of and in the course of the employee’s employment. NRS 616A.020. But the law provides a specific exception for “any injury sustained by an employee while engaging in an athletic or social event sponsored by his or her employer.” NRS 616A.265. By statute, these types of injury do not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” and therefore are not covered by workers’ comp.

There are two exceptions to the general rule. First, if the employee is compensated for participating in the event, the injury will be covered. If the employer allows hourly employees to clock in during games, this exception may apply. The workings of this exception are less clear for salaried employees who do not report their time.

The second exception is for school district employees. A school district employee will be covered by workers’ compensation during any event sponsored by the school district, or by a student group, class, or organization, provided the event is “reasonably related to the employee’s job with the school district.” The employee’s involvement in the event must have been at the request of a supervisor, and the employee’s participation must have been for the safety and well-being of students. NRS 616A.265(3). In a nutshell, this exception ensures that school district employees can assist with student athletic events without bearing personal financial risk for potential injury.

Company sporting events and personal injury lawsuits 

The general rule that corporate sporting events are outside the scope of employment has an important consequence for injured employees. An employee typically can’t sue an employer for a personal injury suffered on the job. But if the injury is not covered by workers’ compensation, because it does not “arise out of or in the course of employment,” the ordinary bar against lawsuits doesn’t apply.

When would an employee want to sue an employer for sports-related injuries? It will depend on the circumstances. Personal injury lawsuits generally require that the defendant have acted negligently. If the employer sponsoring an event does not provide proper safety equipment, it might be committing negligence. The same may be true if the employer doesn’t respond with reasonable care to the injury itself.

A personal injury lawsuit can be a longer and more challenging way to get compensated for an injury, but in some situations it may be the only option. At Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez we have helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover awards for personal injury for over 45 years. If you have been injured during a corporate sporting event and you have questions about your legal options, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476, or request a call through our website.

Nevada’s Elder Abuse Laws

Nevada’s population of people over the age of 65 has steadily increased over the years, thanks to an aging population and the popularity of our warm climate as a retirement destination. Unfortunately, the elderly can be susceptible to abuse and neglect by people who live with or care for them. Nevada law provides a range of options for someone who is the victim of elder abuse to seek compensation.

Three causes of action in elder abuse cases

Nevada’s elder abuse law, NRS 41.1395, protects anyone who is 60 years of age or older by providing that an injured plaintiff may recover twice their actual damages and, in some situations, attorneys’ fees. To recover double damages, an older person must have suffered a personal injury or death that is caused by abuse or neglect, or suffered a loss of money or property caused by exploitation. Attorney’s fees can be awarded in cases where the plaintiff shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the person who is liable for damages acted with recklessness, oppression, fraud, or malice.

The statute provides three potential causes of action:

1. Abuse.

Abuse involves the willful and unjustified infliction of pain, injury, or mental anguish, or deprivation of food, shelter, clothing, or services that are necessary to maintain the older person’s physical or mental health. NRS 41.1395(4)(a). The requirement that an act be willful is an important limitation for abuse claims. It is not enough that someone be merely negligent. Some cases may also hinge on whether a given service was “necessary” for the wellbeing of the older person. For example, the amount of food that must be provided to maintain the health of an infirm person may be difficult to establish.

2. Exploitation.

Exploitation has two components. NRS 41.1395(4)(b). First, the defendant must be someone in a position of trust, such as a caregiver or family member, or must hold a power of attorney or legal guardianship with respect to the older person. Second, the defendant must have taken money, property, or other assets from the older person. The taking can be through an act of deception, intimidation, or undue influence, or can simply be an act of conversion.

In either case, the taking must be intended to permanently deprive the older person of use and benefit of the taken asset. A clear example would be someone taking money from an older person’s wallet. But the statute provides that “undue influence” does not include “the normal influence that one member of a family has over another.” In other words, to show undue influence there must be something more than, for example, a family member making poor choices with the older person’s money.

3. Neglect.

A neglect claim can be brought only against someone who has assumed responsibility for the care of an older person, such as a home care provider. The defendant has to have expressly acknowledged his or her assumption of responsibility, verbally or through a written contract. The defendant must have failed “to provide food, shelter, clothing or services within the scope of the person’s responsibility or obligation, which are necessary to maintain the physical or mental health of the older person.” NRS 41.1395(4)(c).

The specific requirements in the definition of neglect that may complicate a lawsuit. The “express acknowledgment” requirement may pose challenges outside the context of contracted services. For informal arrangements, determining when someone has assumed responsibility for an older person may be subject to different opinions. Another issue in such contexts will be the scope of a caregiver’s responsibilities.

GGRM can help you pursue an elder abuse claim

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover for personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered elder abuse and you have questions about your legal rights, our attorneys are happy to review your case. Call us today for a free consultation at 702-388-4476, or reach us through our contact page.

Can Emergency Personnel Sue Landowners for Negligent Maintenance?

Emergency personnel often get hurt in the course of responding to emergencies. Firefighters can be injured by conditions on a property that have nothing to do with a fire. EMS professionals can fall on badly maintained stairs. Police can be attacked by dogs that aren’t adequately chained. When a landowner’s failure to take proper care of a property causes an injury, first responders may wonder if they have the option to sue for personal injury damages.

First responders assume the risk of injury

Nevada law limits when first responders can sue for injuries they suffer on the job. There are two policy reasons for this. First, first responders are paid by the public to confront dangers that members of the public may create through negligent acts. And second, first responders are paid and trained to assume the risk of personal injury. Steelman v. Lind, 97 Nev. 425, 427-28 (1981).

In adopting this “firefighter’s rule” the Nevada Supreme Court in Steelman reasoned that the public might hesitate to call upon emergency personnel if doing so would create a risk of being sued. Instead, first responders are paid a salary and given fringe benefits, including workers’ compensation coverage. See id. at 427. But first responders should note that Nevada’s workers’ compensation law (the Nevada Industrial Insurance Act) prevents most lawsuits against employers for personal injury. NRS 616A.020. The only recourse against an employer for a job-related injury is to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Lawsuits for negligence unrelated to the emergency

The facts in Steelman illustrate how the firefighter’s rule works in the case of another person’s negligence. In Steelman a police officer pulled to the side of an interstate highway to assist someone who had lost beehives off the back of his trailer. The officer parked his car behind the trailer, with lights flashing, and was sitting in the patrol car when a tractor trailer struck it. In Steelman the beehive owner (Mr. Lind) had committed an act of negligence by allowing his beehives to fall into the roadway. But because Officer Steelman was responding to the emergency created by Mr. Lind’s negligence in Steelman’s role as a police officer, the firefighter’s rule applied.

The same logic applies to negligent maintenance by a landowner where the negligence was the cause of the first responder being on the property. But the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the firefighter’s rule does not necessarily bar lawsuits for injuries arising from negligence that was unrelated to the event that led the first responder to be there. Moody v. Manny’s Auto Repair, 110 Nev. 320 (1994). A firefighter who gets burned helping someone escape from a structure fire probably can’t sue the landowner for negligently maintaining a gas line. But an EMS professional who is injured when a badly built staircase collapses may have recourse under the rule in Moody.

Statutory exceptions to the firefighter’s rule

There are several statutory exceptions to the firefighter’s rule. NRS 41.139 provides that first responders can sue for personal injury in cases where someone has not exercised ordinary care or skill in the management of a property, provided that the conduct that caused the injury (1) occurred after the responsible person knew or should have known that the first responder was on the property, (2) was conducted with the intent of hurting the first responder, (3) violated a statute, ordinance, or regulation, or (4) was arson.

GGRM can help sort through the details

For over 45 years, the lawyers at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have helped injured clients in the Las Vegas first responder community protect their legal rights and get the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about how the firefighter’s rule limits your options to sue a landowner for negligent maintenance, our attorneys are happy to help. For a free consultation reach out to us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Workplace Injuries in the Power Industry

Workplace Injuries in the Power Industry

Workers in the power industry are exposed to a wide range of dangerous situations, from heavy machinery to high voltage. Serious injuries can leave workers and their families with questions about their legal options, especially when insurance refuses to pay medical bills and other expenses.

The risks power industry workers face

These are just a few examples of the kinds of hazards someone working in the power industry might encounter:

  • High voltage. Any work involving electricity poses a threat to health. In addition to following safety procedures set out in employer guidelines, workers also need to be sure to review the documentation for equipment they work with. Quite often an electrical hazard can be hidden, making it important to read warning labels and other instructions.
  • Carcinogenic toxins. Working in the power industry can expose employees to a wide range of potentially cancer-causing substances. These include benzene and other industrial solvents, gasses like sulfur dioxide, and construction materials like asbestos. Workers in nuclear facilities can also be exposed to unsafe levels of radiation.
  • Heavy machinery. The power industry uses a lot of big tools. Line installers and repairers use power lifts. Giant cranes are used to raise wind turbine towers. Sometimes transmission lines have to be laid using helicopters. Any time heavy equipment is used there’s a risk of injury.

Workers’ compensation for high-risk jobs

Every employer in Nevada is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides benefits like medical expenses and lost wages in the event that a worker is injured on the job. For employees, an important feature of the workers’ compensation system is that it is not concerned with fault. This means that an injury will still be covered even if a worker contributes to it through inattention or negligence.

In Nevada, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy for personal injuries suffered on the job, provided the employer has the required insurance. An injured employee generally cannot sue an employer, coworkers, or even independent contractors for personal injury. This is true even for workers who die from their injuries. NRS 616A.202(2).

Cancer and other slow-developing diseases, like hearing loss due to exposure to high noise levels at work, can pose challenges for utility workers who seek workers’ compensation benefits. One challenge in these cases is proving that the disease was caused by work-related exposure to a dangerous condition. Insurers will often deny claims on grounds that the cause of the disease is not well established. In these cases it’s especially important to have the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

GGRM is a Las Vegas workers’ compensation law firm

For more than 45 years, the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area get the compensation they deserve. If you work in the power industry and need help with your workers’ compensation claim, or have questions about your legal options after an injury, our attorneys will be happy to review your case. For a free consultation, reach out to us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contacts page.

Suing an Employer for Personal Injury in Nevada

Suing an Employer for Personal Injury in Nevada

Nevada workers who are injured at work are sometimes surprised to learn that state law prevents them from suing their employers for personal injury. Under the Nevada Industrial Insurance Act (NIIA), NRS 616A.005 et seq., an employee’s exclusive remedy for injuries at work, including death, is to file a workers’ compensation claim. NRS 616A.020. There are two exceptions where an employee may still be able to sue: cases where an employer lacks the required workers’ compensation insurance, and cases where the employer intentionally hurts an employee.

Suing an employer who lacks workers’ compensation insurance

Every employer in Nevada is required to buy workers’ compensation insurance. The exclusivity rule in NRS 616A.020 protects compliant employers by steering virtually every injury suffered by employees at work into the insurance system. Employers get the security of knowing that they can’t be sued for personal injury, while employees get the benefit of no-fault coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and other things.

If an employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance, or fails to carry adequate insurance to cover an injury, the protections of NRS 616A.020 may no longer apply. Employees in this situation may want to file for benefits from the state’s The UECA serves as a safety net for injured employees by providing the same types of benefits that an employer’s insurance would provide.

Because the UECA forms part of the state’s workers’ compensation system it also forecloses the possibility of filing a personal injury suit against the employer. An injured worker therefore can face a difficult choice between accepting the benefits of UECA insurance, or pursuing the potentially higher compensation available through a personal injury lawsuit. Bear in mind that lawsuits can take time and always involve a risk of failure.

Suing an employer for intentional harm

The other circumstance where an employee can sue an employer for personal injury is if the employer intentionally causes the injury. The Nevada Supreme Court has placed strict limits on when employees can use this exception to the NIAA’s exclusive remedy rule. An employee must be able to prove that the employer genuinely wanted to hurt the employee. There must be a deliberate and specific intent to injure. Conway v. Circus Casinos, Inc., 116 Nev. 870, 875 (2000).

The most obvious example of intentional harm is if the employer (which might be represented by a manger) physically attacks the employee. See Barjesteh v. Faye’s Pub, 106 Nev. 120 (1990). But many kinds of intentional harm at the workplace are not so cut-and-dry.

The Supreme Court has allowed a personal injury suit to go forward in a case where a fired employee was treated roughly by security guards while being removed from the employer’s property. Fanders v. Riverside Resort & Casino, Inc., 126 Nev. 543 (2010). But in that case the question of when the employer-employee relationship ended was still unsettled. In other cases where one employee attacked another, the victim was forced to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. See Cummings v. United Resort Hotels, 85 Nev. 23 (1969) (a knife attack by a mentally ill coworker fell within the scope of the NIIA) and Wood v. Safeway, Inc., 121 Nev. 724 (2005) (holding that a sexual assault at work was covered by the NIIA).

GGRM represents personal injury clients in Las Vegas

Workers who suffer serious injury on the job can feel unjustly denied compensation for wrongful behavior by a supervisor or employer. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate the facts of a case and determine if a personal injury suit is advisable, or if pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is the best course. The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has served the Las Vegas working community for more than 45 years and has extensive experience dealing with complex personal injury cases. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476, or send us a request through our site.

Runners and Dog Bite Injuries in Nevada

Runners and Dog Bite Injuries in Nevada

Being attacked by a dog is a runner’s worst nightmare. A dog’s bite can cause painful, debilitating injuries. It can also cause psychological harm, leading to anxiety and stress that can be difficult to overcome. Runners who are bitten by dogs often have the option of suing the person who was responsible.

Potential defendants in a dog attack

Determining who is legally and financially responsible for a dog is an important early step in bite lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances, responsibility can sometimes be placed with more than one person. Here are some common examples:

  • The owner. A dog’s owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent his or her pet from hurting other people and property. Liability often follows the owner even if the owner was not directly in control of the animal when the bite occurred.
  • A dog walker. If someone other than the owner is walking the dog at the time of the attack, that person may be liable for the injury, because a person walking a dog is responsible for keeping the dog under control. Bear in mind that professional dog walking businesses may have insurance available to help pay for injuries to third parties.
  • A property owner or landlord. In some situations a landlord may assume responsibility for a dog on his or her property. For example, in Wright v. Schum, 105 Nev. 611 (1989), a landlord was held responsible for injuries caused by a dog that escaped from an improperly fenced yard. The landlord had assumed legal responsibility for the dog because it had notice of the dog’s aggressive behaviors and had asked the tenant to keep it chained.

The elements of a dog bite claim in Nevada

In Nevada a dog bite is treated like most other kinds of personal injury. In a typical case the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. To win a dog bite lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to prove four things:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Negligence claims need to rest upon a defendant’s legal obligation. In the case of dogs, this duty sometimes comes from local ordinances governing leash use. In Nevada dogs may be kept outside at a person’s home without being leashed provided they are kept within a fully enclosed space.
  2. The defendant breached its duty of care. This element simply requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant didn’t do what it was supposed to do. In the case of home-kept dogs, a homeowner who fails to maintain proper fencing might be breaching his or her duty of care. The same might hold true if someone lets an aggressively barking dog out a front door without being leashed.
  3. The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury. This element looks at two things. First, that the chain of events from the defendant’s breach of duty to the plaintiff’s injury shows causation. Second, that there weren’t intervening circumstances that might place responsibility elsewhere. For example, if the dog was properly leashed, but the leash harness was defective and broke, perhaps true responsibility lies with the harness manufacturer.
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages. The plaintiff must show that he or she has accumulated medical expenses and other compensable harm from the bite. Damages might include psychological counseling necessary to recover from the fear and anxiety that can follow a dog attack. This element serves to prevent litigation over minor incidents, like a dog rushing someone and barking, but not actually biting.

GGRM understands dog bite litigation

If you are a runner who has been injured by a dog the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez can help you understand your legal options. For over 45 years we have helped dog bite victims in the Las Vegas area recover the compensation they deserve. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Marketing Defects and Personal Injury In Nevada

Marketing Defects and Personal Injury

Nevada’s products liability laws protect consumers from defective goods by allowing people who are injured by defective products to sue for damages. A products liability claim can arise from defects in a product’s design, manufacture, or marketing, or some combination of each. But what is a “marketing” defect?

When a marketing defect can arise

As the name suggests, a marketing defect occurs in the way products are presented or explained to consumers. It may have nothing to do with the product itself. Instead, the issue may be with the product’s packaging, documentation, or even advertising.

For injured plaintiffs, a preliminary concern will be to identify potentially responsible parties. Each product will require a different analysis to determine who might be responsible for a marketing defect. For example:

  • Liability for inadequate instruction on the use of a factory-installed car jack probably rests with the auto manufacturer.
  • Liability for a misleading food label (“contains no nuts” when in fact it contains peanuts) might rest with a packaging firm as well as the manufacturer.
  • Liability for the incorrect statements of a salesperson might rest with the retailer.

Failure to warn of dangers

A common source of marketing-defect litigation is inadequate documentation about hidden dangers that consumers might face while using a product. In such cases, the plaintiff needs to show that the product was unreasonably safe because of the absence of adequate warnings or instruction. Nev. J.I. 7.05.

For legal purposes, a product is dangerous “if it fails to perform in the manner reasonably to be expected in light of its nature and intended function.” General Elec. Co. v. Bush, 88 Nev. 360, 364 (1972). A product can be perfectly made and still be defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for it to be put into the hands of consumers without suitable warnings about its safe use. Id. at 364-65. On the other hand, a manufacturer is “entitled to assume the product will not be subjected to abnormal or unintended uses.” Van Duzer v. Shoshone Coca Cola Bottling Co., 103 Nev. 383, 385 (1987).

As an example, consider a circular saw. Such a tool is undeniably dangerous in and of itself. Every circular saw on the market today carries hard-to-remove warning labels and comes with a detailed manual specifically to protect the manufacturer from marketing defect lawsuits. But it’s easy to imagine hypotheticals where things could go wrong:

  • A consumer removes the saw guard because it interferes with her work. She later suffers a serious cut. The saw’s labeling and instructions, which the consumer had put away without glancing at them, are silent about removing the guard. Arguably, the manufacturer should have anticipated that a consumer would remove the intrusive part, but it will certainly label its removal as an “unintended use” in hopes of avoiding liability.
  • Although the saw carries a warning label about the proper torque to be applied when installing a new blade, the warning is hidden behind the saw guard and is easy to miss. A consumer applies the improper amount of torque and the blade flies off, injuring someone. Was the warning label sufficient?
  • An industrial-metal band uses the saw to create loud noises in the studio. The musician using the saw develops severe carpal tunnel from “playing” the saw too much. Is this an abnormal use?

As you can see, the facts of each products liability case require careful analysis from an experienced attorney. Easy answers are rarely available in these cases, because it can be hard to find the line between proper and improper use, safe and unsafe practices, and adequate or inadequate documentation.

Consult with GGRM about your marketing defect questions

The attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez work with clients in the Las Vegas area to recover what they deserve after a serious accident or injury. We specialize in taking a personal approach with each complex case. For a no-cost attorney consultation, call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contact page.

What Workers Should Know about Repetitive Motion Injuries

What Workers Should Know about Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries are a common problem for workers in a wide range of industries. Factory jobs can often involve doing the same action many times a day, but so can desk jobs. Doing a simple task like using a stapler, typing on a keyboard, or answering a phone too many times in a day can lead to injury. These types of injuries usually require a long process of healing, during which the affected tissues need to be rested. In serious cases, repetitive motion injuries can jeopardize someone’s ability to continue working.

Repetitive motion injury and workers’ compensation

Nevada’s workers’ compensation system provides medical payments and other benefits for employees whose injuries arise in the course and scope of employment. To be eligible for benefits, the injured worker needs to establish that the injury’s cause was work-related. Insurers will often deny claims for injuries that they determine could have been caused by something beyond the scope of the employee’s work.

This can often be a problem for people who develop repetitive motion injuries at work. Even when an employee’s work environment lends itself to the development of this kind of injury, other causes that are unrelated to work can still contribute. For example, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are linked to repetitive motion injuries. An insurer may deny a worker’s claim if it can blame the injury on an “external” cause like this.

Repetitive motion injury and disability benefits

People who suffer from repetitive motion injuries sometimes need to take a prolonged break from their ordinary work duties. In some cases, the injury can qualify as a temporary or permanent disability under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An employer cannot fire an employee solely on grounds that the employee has developed a disability or filed a workers’ compensation claim.

In many cases, an employer will offer an injured worker the option of performing light duty work until the injury has healed. Where the employer has a policy requiring injured workers to accept light duty as a condition of continued employment, the employee generally must accept. Employers adopt these policies in part to give themselves a way to terminate workers who they otherwise couldn’t, by creating conditions that force an employee to choose between an undesirable job or quitting.

Let GGRM answer your repetitive motion injury questions

For over 45 years the attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have handled complicated workers’ compensation cases in the Las Vegas area. If you have questions about your legal options after suffering a repetitive motion injury at work, contact us for a free attorney consultation. We can be reached at 702-388-4476 or send us a request through our site.

Can Employers Be Liable for Workplace Violence?

Can Employers Be Liable for Workplace Violence?

The threat of violence has become an unfortunate part of the working world. From fistfights to sexual assault and shootings, when violence enters the workplace it can disrupt lives and hurt business. Someone who is seriously hurt in a violent incident at work should speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the legal options for recovering compensation. One question that will come up is whether the employer bears responsibility.

Violence and the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy rule

Nevada’s workers’ compensation law imposes stark limits on when an employee can sue an employer for injuries suffered while at work. With few exceptions, so long as the employer has the mandatory workers’ compensation coverage, an employee’s only remedy for “injury by accident arising out of and in the course of the employment” is to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. NRS 616A.020. Generally speaking, an employee cannot bring a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer provided that the employer has workers’ compensation insurance.

The Nevada Supreme Court has given a broad reading to the exclusive remedy rule. In Cummings v. United Resort Hotels, 85 Nev. 23 (1969), a hotel worker was murdered by a mentally ill coworker in the hotel’s employee locker room. The Court agreed with the lower court’s conclusion that the attack “arose out of” the dead worker’s employment, and therefore a workers’ compensation exclusive remedy rule barred a personal injury claim. The Court reached the same conclusion with respect to a workplace sexual assault. Wood v. Safeway, Inc., 121 Nev. 724 (2005).

What if the employer knew about a dangerous employee and didn’t take steps to remedy the problem? Even in this case, the employer likely is protected by the exclusive remedy rule. Sweeping Servs. of Tex. v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 2011 Nev. Unpub. LEXIS 159 (2011). Even though the employer knew that a dangerous situation was possible, it cannot be sued.

Intentional harm provides an exception

An important exception to the exclusive remedy rule is for intentional harm committed by an employer against an employee. The key difference with this exception is that the employer “deliberately and specifically intended to injure” the employee. Conway v. Circus Casinos, Inc., 116 Nev. 870, 875 (2000). In its Conway ruling the Supreme Court took pains to clarify that the intent requirement is something more than just knowing about the possibility of injury and not doing anything to prevent it. The injured employee has to show that the employer actively wanted cause the injury.

A significant challenge in many such cases will be proving that the employer itself had the requisite intent necessary to overcome the exclusive remedy rule. The Supreme Court has allowed actions to go forward against an individual employer who physically attacked an employee. Barjesteh v. Faye’s Pub, 106 Nev. 120 (1990). It has also allowed a suit to go forward against other employees who allegedly committed intentional harm against a plaintiff. Fanders v. Riverside Resort & Casino, Inc., 126 Nev. 543 (2010).

Consult with experienced attorneys about your workplace violence claims

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in the Las Vegas area in the areas of personal injury and workers compensation. Our attorneys can answer your tough questions about your legal options to respond to workplace violence. 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.

Homeowner Obligations Toward Utility and Mail Workers

Homeowner Obligations Toward Utility and Mail Workers

Everyone has heard stories about dogs going after postal workers. Sometimes the stories are funny, but more often they end with the worker suffering a serious bite. Nevada law imposes some basic requirements on homeowners to keep their properties safe for people who might visit while the homeowner is away: postal workers or inspectors from the local gas or electrical utility being just two examples.

Delivery and utility workers usually aren’t trespassing

In Nevada, homeowners have a general duty of care to keep their properties reasonably safe for lawful visitors. Nevada law provides that homeowners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers other than children in some situations, or where the trespasser is known to be in a dangerous location. It is also unlawful for homeowners to intentionally create dangerous conditions designed to hurt a trespasser. NRS 41.515.

Generally speaking, people delivering packages and mail to a home and people who come to a home in connection with utility work are not trespassing. The specific reason why varies. Absent a “No Trespassing” sign any visitor has an implied license to approach the front door of a home to speak to the occupant or leave a package there. U.S. Post Office rules specifically allow mail carriers to cross private property as part of their delivery duties. Utility workers, who often need to access to side or back of a home to check meters or repair equipment, typically receive express permission to enter through local laws or service agreements.

There can be exceptions to these general rules. For example, a utility worker might not be allowed to jump over a locked fence or break a chain just to check a meter. A mail carrier’s implied license probably doesn’t allow for packages to be carried around the side of a home or through a closed gate, whether or not it’s locked, unless they have a reasonable purpose for doing so. For example, a deliverer might want to leave a package safely out of sight so it doesn’t get stolen.

Ways a homeowner can keep a home “reasonably safe”

Because a homeowner won’t necessarily be at home when a delivery is made or a utility inspection is made, it’s important to take steps to make the property safe. Here are a few examples:

  • Ensure that the approach to the front door is free of hazards. Although a homeowner doesn’t need to constantly inspect for new dangers, care should be taken to address known risks. If a front step is dangerously loose, repairing it or at least putting out a warning sign might be necessary. If the front walk is icy, it might be necessary to shovel or salt it.
  • Warn about unleashed dogs. A homeowner is allowed to keep a dog off leash provided the dog is otherwise contained, such as with a fence. By posting “Beware of Dog” signs, the owner places visitors on notice that a dog is present and may pose a danger. Many utility inspectors carry mace to protect themselves from surprise dog attacks, so warning the worker also protects the dog.
  • Make sure dangerous conditions are easy to see. A homeowner who has created an unusually dangerous condition, such as a deep trench or exposed electrical work, needs to be especially mindful of the potential risks it poses to visitors. Posting warning signs, using yellow “caution” tape, or ensuring that the dangerous condition is well covered can be ways to reduce the risk to visitors.

GGRM can answer your questions

For over 45 years the lawyers at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have served the Las Vegas community. We understand the legal risks homeowners face and are here to answer questions about how those risks can be managed. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.