Nevada Supreme Court issues decision on civil liability following a judgment of conviction

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Cromer v. Wilson - "Appellant Aaron Cromer received a jury verdict of $4,530,785.50 as a result of injuries he sustained in a car crash caused by respondent William Wilson.  On appeal, Aaron and his wife Felicia Cromer raise several issues, only one of which merits detailed consideration.  The Cromers contend that the district court should have granted summary judgment on the issue of liability because NRS 41.133 allows a judgment of conviction to conclusively establish civil liability for a crime and should have precluded Wilson from arguing comparative fault pursuant to NRS 41.141.

            We conclude that the conclusive presumption of NRS 41.133 applies to liability but does not abrogate the law regarding comparative negligence or damages.  The district court should have granted the summary judgment motion as to liability and held a trial as to damages only; at such a trial, the defense could have introduced evidence of comparative fault, if any, to reduce the damages award.  In this case, the district court allowed the trial to proceed as to liability and damages.  The jury found Wilson liable and awarded damages.  Although the district court utilized the incorrect procedure, the appropriate outcome was reached.  Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the district court.  See, e.g., Sanchez v. Wal-Mart Stores, 125 Nev. ___, ___ n.2, 221 P.3d 1276, 1280 n.2 (2009) (noting that this court will affirm a district court's order if the district court reached the correct result, even for the wrong reason)."


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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on March 11, 2010 9:56 AM.

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