Eighth Judicial District Court Rulings

August 2022 Rulings:

Bernardez v. Las Vegas Boat Harbor, et. al.

A-20-812414-C

OUTCOME: GRANTED

DATE ORDERED: August 26, 2022

DISCOVERY COMMISSIONER JAY YOUNG

Case Summary: This matter arises out of a negligence and product defect incident that took place on July 1, 2018, in Clark County, Nevada. Plaintiffs were on a 1988 Carver Yacht 27 Santego located in the Lake Mead area at Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor. While at the Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor fuel dock, the engine and the batteries on the subject yacht would not start. As a result, Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor employees gave Plaintiff a Schumacher Instant Power Jump Starter to restart the yacht’s battery. Plaintiff followed the verbal instructions of the Las Vegas Boat Harbor employees and attached the Schumacher Instant Power Jump Starter to the boat’s battery and turned the jump box power switch on. As soon as Plaintiff turned the jump box on, there was an explosion and a fire ensued.

 

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Protective Order: On July 14, 2022, Defendant served its Notice of Intent To Serve Subpoena Duces Tecum For Records Only upon Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Clark County District Attorney for August 26, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. Therein, Defendant requested documentation that is irrelevant, will not lead to the discovery of admissible evidence, and disproportionate to the needs of this case as they pertain to Plaintiff, Dayton Bernardez’s, criminal action in the Eighth Judicial District Court. On July 21, 2022, Plaintiffs served an Objection to Defendant’s subpoenas and filed a Motion for Protective Order requesting that the Court issue a protective order prohibiting Defendant from obtaining documents via subpoena duces tecum from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Clark County District Attorney because the information requested was irrelevant to any party’s claims or defenses and disproportionate to the needs of this case pursuant to NRCP 26(c)(1).

Ruling: Commissioner Young found that the burden placed on a non-party to produce documents that Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor partially already has in its possession outweighs the marginal utility of the information sought. Commissioner Young further found that the information Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor intended to discover is accessible through other means – such as written discovery directly to the party.

Accordingly, after considering the proportionality factors set forth under NRCP 26(b), Commissioner Young adopted Plaintiffs’ good cause analysis and found that a protective order was warranted in this circumstance because the burden associated with obtaining documents from a non-party outweighs the benefit of the information sought and thus, is not proportional to the needs of this case.

July 2022 Rulings:

Schrader v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, et. al.

2:19-cv-02159-JCM-BNW

DATE ORDERED: 7/15/22

MAGISTRATE JUDGE BRENDA WEKSLER

Case Summary: This is a putative class action that arises from Plaintiff Brenna Schrader’s employment with Defendant WLV as a Massage Therapist. Plaintiff was forced to engage in sexual conduct with Defendant Stephen A. Wynn, the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Defendant Wynn Resorts, from approximately 2012 until June 2015. She was also forced to engage in sexual conduct with a VIP guest from approximately 2016 until 2018. Plaintiff was further subjected to co-worker harassment in 2019 and 2020.

 

Joint Discovery Plan and Scheduling Order: The parties have different positions regarding whether bifurcation of discovery is necessary. Given the nature of the causes of action before the Court, Plaintiff believes that the bifurcation of discovery is neither appropriate nor necessary. Based on the individual claims, complex putative class assertions in this case, and broad scope of Plaintiff’s proposed classes and sub-classes, the Defendants are requesting to conduct discovery in three phases: Phase 1 Plaintiff-related merits discovery; Phase 2 Putative Class Member-certification related discovery; and Phase 3 Class Member Merits-related discovery. As such, the Court has set a hearing to resolve the parties’ divergent views and proposals.

Ruling: In exercising the Court’s broad discretion to control discovery, the Court is guided by FRCP Rule 1 to ensure a just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of each action. Here, a middle ground between the parties two positions best achieves the goal of Rule 1. Magistrate Judge Weksler ordered that discovery should be bifurcated into two phases. The first phase will include discovery into the merits of Plaintiff’s claims and discovery relevant to class certification. If a class is certified, phase 2 will include all remaining discovery. Magistrate Judge Weksler made it clear that there will be some overlap between discovery that is relevant to class certification and the merits of putative class members' claims. As a result, during phase 1, the parties will be allowed to obtain discovery related to the merits of putative class members, so long as it is also relevant to class certification.

June 2022 Rulings:

Ferree v. Yocom, et. al.

A-18-774286-C

DATE ORDERED: 5/11/22

JUDGE JOANNA S. KISHNER

Case Summary: This matter arises out of a motor vehicle collision that occurred on April 19, 2018, when Plaintiff was riding his motorcycle southbound on Las Vegas Boulevard toward the intersection of Clark Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the same time, Defendant was operating a 2017 Ford Econoline Coach shuttle bus northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard in the course and scope of her employment with Defendant Howard Stark, LLC d/b/a Sin City Tours. As Plaintiff was approaching the intersection, Defendant initiated a left turn into the same intersection toward westbound Clark Avenue and directly into the path of Plaintiff’s oncoming motorcycle.  Defendant’s left turn into the intersection caused a major collision and near-fatal injuries to Plaintiff.

 

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 4 to Exclude Reference or Argument Regarding the Speed Limit on Las Vegas Boulevard

RULING: The issue is in this case is whether Defendant failed to yield Plaintiff’s right-of-way when she turned left, not whether Plaintiff was speeding. The Court does not see how the speed limit on Las Vegas Boulevard had any impact on Defendant’s decision as to whether she could make her left turn safely. The Court does not see how the speed limit on Las Vegas Boulevard is relevant based on the operative Complaint and the current allegations in this case. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 4 to Exclude Reference or Argument Regarding the Speed Limit on Las Vegas Boulevard is GRANTED.

Hearing on Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 8 to Exclude Argument That Plaintiff’s Counsel Engaged in Unethical Deposition Tactics

RULING: No counsel or any party can argue or insinuate that any counsel engaged in unethical deposition tactics by twisting testimony or somehow eliciting responses from a witness that he or she did not intend to give. No counsel nor any witness can make any rude, derogatory, or negative statements or arguments regarding any party’s counsel, including that any counsel engaged in unethical or inappropriate behavior. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 8 to Exclude Argument that Plaintiff’s Counsel Engaged in Unethical Deposition Tactics is GRANTED.

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 10 to Exclude Any Reference or Argument to the Conduct of Other Motorcyclists With Whom Plaintiff Rode

RULING: Reference or argument regarding the conduct of other motorcyclists with whom Plaintiff rode with at some unknown time is irrelevant. Reference or argument regarding the conduct of other motorcyclists with whom Plaintiff rode with on the night of the subject collision is relevant. Reference or argument regarding the conduct of other motorcyclists with whom Plaintiff rode with at some unknown time is excluded unless Plaintiff opens the door to this evidence during trial. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 10 to Exclude Any Reference or Argument to the Conduct of Other Motorcyclists With Whom Plaintiff Rode is GRANTED.

Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 11 to Exclude Any Reference or Argument to Plaintiff’s Prior Motorcycle Riding

RULING: Reference or argument regarding Plaintiff’s prior motorcycle riding is irrelevant because it is more prejudicial than probative. Reference or argument regarding Plaintiff’s prior motorcycle riding is excluded unless Plaintiff opens the door to this evidence during trial. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 11 to Exclude Any Reference or Argument to Plaintiff’s Prior Motorcycle Riding is GRANTED.

April 2022 Rulings:

Bernardez v. Las Vegas Boat Harbor, et. al.

A-20-812414-C

Outcome: DENIED

DATE ORDERED: 4/26/22

JUDGE GLORIA STURMAN

IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Inc.’s Motion to Amend Answer to Assert Counterclaim Against Plaintiff Dylan Daugherty is DENIED.

Case Summary: This matter arises out of a negligence and product defect incident that took place on July 1, 2018 in Clark County, Nevada. Plaintiffs were on a 1988 Carver Yacht 27 Santego located in the Lake Mead area at Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor. While at the Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor fuel dock, the engine and the batteries on the subject yacht would not start. As a result, Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor employees gave Plaintiff a Schumacher Instant Power Jump Starter to restart the yacht’s battery. Plaintiff followed the verbal instructions of the Las Vegas Boat Harbor employees and attached the Schumacher Instant Power Jump Starter to the boat’s battery and turned the jump box power switch on. As soon as Plaintiff turned the jump box on, there was an explosion and a fire ensued.

RULING: Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Inc. requested leave to amend its Answer to assert a counterclaim against Plaintiff for equitable indemnity and contribution. Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Inc. argued that Plaintiff failed to use due care while operating the jump starter, and as a result, caused Plaintiff’s injuries. Judge Sturman determined that it would be far more prejudicial than probative to add a claim against Plaintiff for equitable contribution and indemnity as it would require reopening and extending deadlines and would change the entire posture of the case. For these reasons, Defendant Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Inc.’s Motion to Amend Answer to Assert Counterclaim Against Plaintiff is DENIED.

Grey v. Amanda Avila, et. al.

A-21-837504-C

Outcome: GRANTED

DATE ORDERED: 4/26/22

JUDGE ADRIANA ESCOBAR

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Take the Deposition of Amanda Marie Avila, An Incarcerated Person is GRANTED.

Case Summary: This matter arises out of a motor vehicle collision that occurred on January 21, 2020, when Plaintiff was a passenger in Defendant’s Ford Focus, who, at the time of the collision, was operating his vehicle within the course and scope of his employment as an Uber driver with Defendant Rasier LLC d/b/a Uber. As Defendant proceeded to make a left-hand turn at the three-way intersection of John Herbert Boulevard and Centennial Parkway to go eastbound on Centennial Parkway, Defendant, traveling westbound on Centennial Boulevard in a Honda Accord, failed to lower her speed, and failed to stop at the intersection, causing her vehicle to strike Defendant’s Ford Focus. Defendant was charged with felony driving under the influence. As a result of the collision, Plaintiff sustained significant injuries, including injuries to her cervical spine and a traumatic brain injury.

RULING: As Defendant is a percipient witness with knowledge giving rise to Plaintiff’s causes of action in this matter, there is good cause to GRANT Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Take the Deposition of Amanda Marie Avila, An Incarcerated Person.

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