Nevada Supreme Court oral arguments: May 3

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City of Reno v. Citizens for Cold Springs,

Docket No. 50301
Carson City
- 10:00 a.m. - Full Court

This appeal concerns the procedure that governing bodies may use to amend master plans and adopt zoning ordinances.  In this case, the City of Reno annexed vacant land in Cold Springs Valley after developers proposed large-scale projects for the area. The Reno Planning Commission then approved master-plan amendments and a zoning ordinance that changed the land use from primarily rural to urban classifications. After the commission approved these changes, the Reno City Council passed and adopted them. The City then submitted the master-plan amendments to the Washoe County Regional Planning Commission. Citizens for Cold Springs (consisting of taxpayers, residents, and property owners of the subject land) filed a lawsuit against the City and the district court ruled that the City violated Nevada law when adopting the zoning ordinance. The City now appeals. ISSUES:  Did the City violate the law by adopting master-plan amendments prior to the regional conformance review? Did the City violate the law by adopting a zoning ordinance that did not initially conform to the City's master plan? Did the City violate the law by failing to make a finding regarding water services and infrastructure prior to adopting the ordinance? Did the City violate the law because the ordinance does not promote the orderly development of land?

Wyeth v. Rowatt (Arlene),
Docket No. 51234
Carson City
- 10:30 a.m. - Full Court

This is an appeal of a jury verdict against a pharmaceutical company in favor of three women who claimed the company's hormone therapy drugs caused their breast cancer.  Respondents Arlene Rowatt, Jeraldine Scofield, and Pamela Forrester sued Wyeth in Washoe County district court alleging the drugs caused their breast cancer and that the warnings provided with the drug were inadequate.  The jury initially returned a verdict in favor of respondents for $134.6 million but then reduced the award to $134.1 million after re-instruction by the district court on damage awards. The district court remitted the amount of damages awarded but denied Wyeth's motion for a new trial and certified the jury award.  Wyeth now appeals.  ISSUES:  Did the district court err when it: (1) awarded punitive damages; (2) denied a new trial motion when the jury deliberated regarding punitive damages in phase 1 of the trial instead of waiting until phase 2 as instructed; (3) violated Wyeth's due process rights when it determined the amount of punitive damages awarded in this case, even after remittitur; (4) determined the amount of compensatory damages it ordered on remittitur; (5) gave a substantial cause instruction instead of a but for causation instruction; (6) gave a life expectancy jury instruction based on a mortality table; (7) applied Nevada law to two of the Plaintiffs' claims; (8) improperly allowed the use of Nevada law to punish conduct in Oregon and Washington in violation of the U.S. Constitution; (9) allowed the Plaintiffs' counsel to improperly argue before the jury by suggesting that the amount of damages could be based on the annual salaries of three of Wyeth's employee witnesses; (10) allowed Ms. Rowatt's claims, which were barred by the statute of limitations based on when she had notice of her injury and its cause; and (11) awarded attorney fees when it was reasonable for it to reject the offers of judgment based on prior results in related lawsuits. 

Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino v. Phillips (Kathryn),
Docket No. 53191
Carson City
- 11:30 a.m. - Full Court

This is an appeal from a Clark County district court order denying a petition for judicial review of an award of workers' compensation benefits. Appellant Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino (Rio) challenges the benefits award to its employee, respondent Kathryn Phillips, who worked as a dealer at the Rio. While on break, Phillips was descending the staircase that led to the break room when she injured her ankle. Rio's third-party administrator denied Phillips' workers' compensation claim.  A hearing officer affirmed that ruling, but an appeals officer reversed the denial of benefits. Rio filed a petition for judicial review, arguing that Phillips' injury did not arise out of her employment. The district court denied Rio's petition, affirming the appeals officer's order, and this appeal followed.  ISSUE:  Did Phillips' injury arise out of her employment as required by NRS 616C.150. 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on May 3, 2010 9:08 AM.

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