Dallas Horton

Dallas Horton is a personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada. He has been serving the Las Vegas community for over 20+ years, and has not only helped resolve over 15,000 personal injury cases, but also has recovered more than $250,000,000 for his clients. Dallas has also received awards too numerous to count, along with most of the highest and more prestigious legal honors that can be awarded to an attorney in the state of Nevada.

How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents in Nevada

In addition to the above tips, there are additional things you can do to prevent serious injury and crashes when riding your motorcycle:

  • Get training. Whether you have just gotten your license or have been on a motorcycle for some time, getting additional lessons from an experienced instructor can help give you some great advice for avoiding crashes and staying safe. Be sure to get lessons about defensive driving and about what to do if you must go into a slide to avoid a crash. A good instructor can show you how to reduce your risk of an injury even if you find yourself in a very dangerous situation.
  • Wear a helmet and wear it properly. There is a huge disparity between the fatality risk for helmeted riders and those without helmets. In 2015, 41 of Nevada’s motorcycle fatalities involved riders not wearing helmets and 11 involved riders with head protection. Helmets can cut your risk of head trauma if you are ever in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas. When wearing your helmet, be sure to use the chinstraps and wear a helmet that fits. The wrong helmet, worn correctly, is likely to fall off during a crash, meaning it won’t protect you.
  • Wear extra gear. In addition to a helmet, you can wear boots, leathers, gloves and extra padding to give you some protection in the event of a collision. These items will protect you from road rash and potentially other injuries if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Goggles can also help protect you if your helmet does not have a visor.
  • Know the rules of the road and follow them. Is lane-splitting allowed in Nevada? This is just one of the common questions we get asked. The answer is no. You must ride in your own lane and treat your motorcycle like any other vehicle on the road. Do not share lanes. If you are unclear about these or other rules of the road, learn them so you can obey them properly.
  • Protect your passengers. If you have a passenger, make sure they are safe, too. Do not let an additional rider on your bike unless they have a helmet and are wearing it correctly. Make sure your passenger holds on to you correctly. Try going slowly at first if your passenger is new to motorcycles. This allows him or her to adjust and to get used to the movement so they don’t accidentally let go.

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas or anywhere in Nevada? Contact Dallas Horton & Associates for a consultation. Dallas Horton & Associates handles your case from start to finish, so you can focus on your life and your healing journey. Our law firm aggressively fights for the results you deserve.

When it comes to the evidence that can help your case, we know what to look for, where to look for it, what it means and how to use it. Our staff is sympathetic to your situation and committed to your case from start to finish. We have more than 70 years of combined legal experience, and our law firm has been helping plaintiffs in Nevada for nearly 20 years. We have successfully resolved more than 7,000 cases, and our staff is bilingual. In fact, more than 30 percent of the clients we work with speak Spanish.

If you have been in a motorcycle accident, reach out to us to get the counsel and representation you need before you make any important decisions.

When Do I Need A Workers Compensation Lawyer?

Injuries at work happen and while employers do their best to maintain a safe work environment, accidents do happen. Your injury may be severe and debilitating. You will want to consult with a workers compensation lawyer to determine a fair and just amount.

The law offices of Dallas Horton and Associates, are experienced workers compensation lawyers who can help victims of work related accidents. Call us today for your no free consultation.

You May Need A Workers Compensation Lawyer If Your Claim Has Been Denied


If your claim has been denied, you may want to seek a personal injury attorney to represent you to overturn the denial. The employer may try to dispute the fact that your claim was work related.

An attorney will be able to use legal tools to gather evidence for your hearing. At your hearing your workers compensation attorney will represent you, present evidence, and work to overturn your claim denial.

You May Need A Workers Compensation Lawyer If Your Permanent Disability Rating Is Disputed


Suffering a permanent disability while working is the most common reason employees seek legal representation. Workers compensation uses a permanent disability rating to calculate benefits.

There are two types of permanent disability categories: Permanent Total Disability and Permanent Partial Disability.

Permanent Total Disability is when you are injured and are unable to ever work again. These are the most serious of disabilities, such as blindness and loss of arms and legs. Permanent total disabilities payments last throughout the injured worker’s lifetime.

Permanent Partial Disability includes things like broken fingers or limbs. The employee will recover and return to the workforce at some point in the future. States have in their workers compensation laws what are called scheduled loss or unscheduled loss.

A scheduled loss is disability in the extremities, like fingers, toes, arms, hands, and feet. An unscheduled loss is a disability that is not in the workers compensation list and these types of disabilities are more complicated to calculate.

You May Need A Workers Compensation Lawyer If You Have a Pre-existing Condition


If your injury at work involves a body part in which you have a pre-existing condition, you may need to seek an attorney to represent you. This is important for your case, as the insurance company will more than likely blame your injury on the pre-existing condition.

Repetitive stress injuries may fall in to this category, and can be difficult to prove. An experienced lawyer will be able to present the facts in a way that demonstrate your injury is not related to a pre-existing condition.

You May Need A Workers Compensation Lawyer If You Have Trouble Getting The Treatment You Need


Perhaps you are not getting the medical attention you need. Your injury may require surgery or treatment by a specialist. Your attorney will represent you against the insurance company to make sure you get the medical treatment you need to help you recover from your “on the job” injury.

You May Need A Lawyer If Your Ability To Work Has Been Affected


Perhaps you are facing a lifetime disability. You will want to seek out a lawyer to make sure you will receive the appropriate and fair amount of compensation.

Your injury can be an injury that causes you to have to seek a new profession. An attorney will work to insure that benefits are provided to train you in a new line of work.

You May Need A Lawyer If You Are Receiving Government Benefits


If you are already receiving disability benefits or utilizing Medicare, your benefits could be reduced or you may have to pay out of pocket for medical treatment. Workers comp attorneys will work with you to minimize any reduction in existing benefits you may be receiving.

You May Need A Lawyer If You Have A Workers Compensation Hearing


If the insurance company does not offer a settlement, you may be faced with a workers compensation hearing. During this hearing the insurance company will have experienced attorneys present.

You also need to have an experienced attorney on your side during this hearing. They will assist you in obtaining a fair and just settlement for you and your family. The workers compensation attorney will be able to present your case, and represent you against the insurance company. Experience matters when it comes to these hearings, so make sure you choose a lawyer with a proven track record of success.

Dallas Horton and Associates are highly rated, experienced, workers compensation attorneys. Call us today for a no cost evaluation of your case.


How To Deal With An Insurance Adjuster On A Personal Injury Claim

You were involved in a car accident and you file a claim with your insurance company. One of the first call’s you may receive from your insurance company will be the insurance adjuster working on behalf of the insurance company.

Negotiating with an insurance claims adjuster can be an intimidating experience. Before you agree to any compensation offered by the insurance company, understand how to speak to the insurance adjuster so you can protect yourself and get a fair settlement.

Dallas Horton and Associates,  personal injury attorney will know how to negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster, and will be familiar with the tactics they can use to give you less than you deserve.

Dallas Horton and Associates have experience negotiating with insurance claims adjusters. Before you speak to the adjuster, give us a call for a free evaluation of your case. You may be entitled to more compensation than you realize.

What Does An Insurance Claims Adjuster Do?


The insurance claims adjuster is there to assess damage, take your statement, and estimate compensation. Talking to the insurance adjuster is one of the most important conversations you will have and what you say will have an impact on the amount of money the insurance company will pay.

The insurance adjuster will calculate actual expenses like medical bills and loss of income. They may also estimate losses from pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

Expenses in the form of medical bills or lost wages are simple in their calculation. Pain and suffering calculations are a little different. They may use a per diem calculation in which you are paid a specific amount for each day of pain and suffering. Or they may utilize a pain multiplier system that multiplies the medical expenses times a set number.

The insurance adjuster will try to get to you make a statement—and possibly even record your statement—before you are mentally recovered from the accident or consult with a attorney. You are not legally required to make a statement to the insurance adjuster. Simply tell the adjuster you will make a statement at the appropriate time.

Keep in mind the insurance adjuster is not working for you. He is not an attorney, and may ask questions that will allow the insurance company to reduce the settlement amount or deny your claim. The insurance adjuster may even try to get you to take an immediate settlement. Do not agree to anything until you have all your facts together, or have obtained the services of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Provide Only Limited Information


Give no details about your injury or accident until you have time to collect yourself or consult with an attorney. While you certainly want to be polite and courteous, you are not required by law to make a statement. Take time to recover from the trauma of the incident, because you want to be clear minded when you do speak with the adjuster.

After an accident you need time to investigate the accident and evaluate the situation on your own. You will want to have a doctor give you a medical examination so you have a clear understanding of your injuries.

The Insurance Adjuster Works On Behalf Of The Insurance Company


The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and their job is to pay as little money as possible. They may seem like a nice friendly person, and may try to subtly get you to give information that may be harmful to your claim.

Do not do this until you have consulted with a personal injury attorney. The insurance claims adjuster is protecting the interests of the insurance company and may seek ways to minimize the settlement amount or get your claim denied.

Do Not Let The Adjuster Record You


The insurance adjuster may ask you to give a statement, and possibly even record your statement. Do not do this! A recorded statement submitted as evidence in court is difficult to dispute.

Knowingly being recorded may cause you to be nervous and make statements that could cause the insurance company to deny your claim or reduce the settlement amount.

Politely let the adjuster know that at this time you are not prepared to make a statement. Get the adjuster’s name and contact number, and let them know you will be in touch at the appropriate time.

Take Notes When Speaking With The Insurance Adjuster


It is important for you to take notes of the conversation with the insurance adjuster. Make sure you have the adjuster’s name and contact information. Also write down any dollar amount offered by the insurance adjuster or specific statements the insurance adjuster makes about your claim.

Remember if you have been severely injured you should seek representation. Las Vegas personal injury attorneys Dallas Horton and Associates will review your case at no cost to you. Give us a call to discuss your situation before you say a word to your insurance adjuster.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

Personal injury law is the branch of law that deals with people who have been injured physically or psychologically by another person or product. Personal injury law, also known as “tort” law, allows a person to seek legal remedy or compensation from the injuring party. This is known in the legal system as being “made whole”.

  1. Dallas Horton, represents victims in all areas of personal injury. If you or your family member has been injured through no fault of your own please give us a call for a free review of your case.

The Different Types Of Personal Injury

  • Accidents, such as vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, or injury on someone’s property.
  • Intentional Acts of Harm, such as assault and battery, or any act that deliberately harms another person
  • Defective Products are products that injure persons, another area of personal injury law that may entitle a person to receive compensation.
  • Defamation of character is damaging a person’s reputation or spreading false claims about a person.

What Happens When I File A Personal Injury Claim?

When your personal injury attorney files a claim on your behalf, you become the “plaintiff” and the party causing the injury becomes the “defendant”.

When your claim is filed, the first stage involves gathering evidence, taking depositions from witnesses, and exchanging documents between the insurers and your attorney. This process is called “discovery”.

During the discovery process your attorney may inform you that the “defendant” has offered a settlement. It is not uncommon for most personal injury cases to be settled out of court before the case reaches a trial.

If your case goes to trial, a jury will be selected. Your attorney will subpoena witnesses, present evidence, and argue that you have been injured through the defendant’s negligence, and ask for compensation.

A personal injury trial is different than a criminal or civil trial where there must be proof “beyond a reasonable doubt”. During a personal injury or “tort” claim, the standard of proof is lower than a civil or criminal trial.

Your personal injury attorney must prove that “more likely than not” the defendant is liable for any claims presented. In a personal injury trial, each claim must be believed “more likely than not” true. A jury can then find some claims more likely true than not and the opposite of other claims.

How Do I Know If I Am The Victim Of A Personal Injury?

Vehicle: If you are involved in a car accident, your lawyer has to show that the defendant driver did not exercise “reasonable care” when operating their motor vehicle.

Property: Getting injured on the property of an individual or business does not automatically entitle a person to a personal injury claim. When filing a claim against a property owner it has to be demonstrated that the property owner was aware of the potential for injury and did not make anyone aware of the potential danger on the property.

Neglect/Abuse: If you feel that you or a loved one are the victim of abuse or neglect, which are defined as intentional harmful acts by the caregiver or day care facility, you may be entitled to a personal injury claim. It needs to be shown that the acts were deliberate, intentional, and a violation of mandated standards of the State in which the caregiver or facility is licensed.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims: You could also be the victim of your insurance company acting in bad faith. The insurance company may deny your claim or offer you the minimal amount that you are entitled. Bad faith means that the insurance company has wrongfully denied you or offers you much less than what you are entitled.

If you feel you are the victim of negligence through no fault of your own, give us a call for a free evaluation.

Are There Time Limitations On When I Can File A Claim?

States have their own statute of limitations when it comes to filing a claim against the injuring party. In the State of Nevada, the statute of limitations is, generally speaking, two years. Fraud claims can be made up to three years, and medical malpractice four years.

It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to stay within the statute of limitations and to give yourself the best opportunity to hold the party accountable.

The team at Dallas Horton and Associates has a proven record of winning settlements for personal injury clients. To find out if you qualify for compensation due to negligence call us today for your free evaluation.

How Do I Know If I Need A Product Liability Attorney?

If the product has done any of the following, you should seek legal counsel:

  • An injury was caused by a product.
  • The responsible product was somehow defective.
  • The defect created an unreasonable danger.

For example, if your child was injured from a new toy, your child may be the victim of a defective product. You may have suffered damage through a faulty hair dryer that caused electric shock, or a fire was caused because of chemicals leaking from defective night lights.

There are many instances where a product was defective and caused bodily injury or property damage. It is important to remember that if you have been injured by a product do not try to fix or repair the product, and leave it in the condition that it is when it caused injury or damage.

Consult A Personal Injury Attorney

Product liability cases are often complex and require a great deal of supporting evidence and documentation. You have a time frame of two years from the time of discovery of the injury to file a claim. For example, if you became ill because of exposure to a toxic substance, you have two years from the day you discovered the source of the illness.

It is important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney who has extensive product liability litigation experience. A PI attorney for instance will have a record of successful litigation against manufacturers whose products have caused harm.

Make sure that you research attorneys and find out what their track record is in pursuing damages for defective products. Manufacturers will want to put the liability back on the consumer and you want an experienced attorney who will hold the manufacturer of the product accountable.

Products are manufactured all over the world in this age of the global economy. While most goods sold are perfectly safe, unforeseen accidents do happen. If this happens to you don’t hesitate to speak to a personal injury attorney.

Product liability generally falls under state law. That is why if you live in Las Vegas, Nevada, consult with a Las Vegas based attorney who can speak with you about your case. There is no cost to you to speak to an attorney who understands product liability laws and has a proven track record successfully representing victims who have been injured by defective products.

Dallas Horton and Associates are experienced in product liability cases. Call us today for your no cost evaluation.

When Do I Need A Product Liability Attorney?

Injuries caused by defective products are common, and if a defective product has injured you or someone you know, you may be entitled to compensation. Manufacturers are responsible for the products they sell, and consumers should be comfortable knowing the products they buy are safe for their prescribed use.

Dallas Horton, is an experienced product liability lawyer who understand the responsibility manufacturers have for their products. Call us today for your no cost evaluation.

What Does A Product Liability Attorney Do?

A product liability attorney represents individuals who have been injured by defective products and litigates against companies that have created a product that has caused harm. Product liability attorneys are able to demonstrate that a product has caused harm and seek compensation for the injured parties.

A product liability attorney will work to demonstrate that…

  • The manufacture did not exercise care in manufacturing the product.
  • There was a design defect in the product .
  • The manufacture did not provide adequate warnings about the product.

A product liability attorney will be able to demonstrate the manufacturer of the product was at fault. They will call expert witnesses to testify the product was defective and could cause damage. The end goal is to pursue damages against the manufacture of the product, so that you can get the restitution you deserve.

A product liability attorney will hold the manufacturer accountable. Manufacturers may try to shift responsibility to the consumer. Defense attorneys for manufacturers of products will try to show the consumer was negligent in their use and handling of the product. An experienced lawyer to represent the consumer, however, will know what it takes to counter such claims.

NOTE: Dallas Horton, a top Las Vegas personal injury attorney, suggests that if you have been injured by a defective product, do not try to repair the product. It must be in the same condition as when it caused damage or injury for the best chance to prove your case.

Five Reasons You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents and injuries happen in Las Vegas every day. When you or your family members are the victim of an accident, someone’s negligence, or abuse, you may need a personal injury attorney.

A personal injury lawyer will represent you in court on your behalf and generally there is no cost to you unless you are awarded compensation. There are five main reasons you should retain a personal injury attorney.


#1 – You May Need An Attorney If You Have Been Injured In A Vehicle Accident


Vehicle accidents are one of the most common reason people hire a personal injury attorney. Even minor accidents can cause neck, spine, and brain injuries. A minor accident may seem like “no big deal” and the insurance company may offer you a small settlement.

An insurance company will seek to settle a claim quickly. Spine, neck, and brain injuries are not always apparent, and the insurance company may try to convince you that you are okay, and offer a minimal settlement.

Your attorney will have a trusted doctor evaluate you and involve an investigator to look into the accident claims. They will work to get you a fair and just settlement that compensates you and your loved ones.


#2 – You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney If You Have Been Injured On Someone’s Property


If you have been injured on someone’s property you should consult with a PI attorney immediately. Injuries suffered on someone’s property can mean loss of current and future income.

Property owners do have a responsibility to prevent injury on their property. Your attorney will understand the legal requirements of property owners to prevent injury. Your attorney will work with you to navigate the legal complexities of property injuries and negotiate a fair settlement that compensates you.


#3 – You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney If You Have Suffered Injury Through Abuse Or Negligence


If you or a loved one has been injured through negligence or abuse you have the right to hold the abusive or negligent party accountable. Abuse cases are complex and often not discovered until after the problem becomes noticed or a wrongful death occurs. In these cases, an insurance company or the party responsible may seek to dismiss your claims or offer minimal compensation.

An abuse case requires a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases and has a proven record of successful litigation.

In elder abuse, abuse of a minor, or negligence cases a PI attorney will work with you through the process to investigate your claims. Your attorney will work with you to determine the fair amount of compensation, and negotiate a settlement with the insurance company.

If you feel you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect call us for a free case review.


#4 – You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney If The Insurance Company Acts In Bad Faith


When an insurance company refuses to pay or offers a very low settlement, an experienced attorney will work to get the highest and most fair settlement. Insurance companies have attorneys who are working to prevent you from seeking fair compensation. They will work to prevent you from being awarded damages or seek to disqualify your claims.

You should seek a personal injury attorney who has proven experience in negotiating with insurance companies and getting their clients the best settlement possible.

You deserve the same professional representation that insurance companies have. A proper lawyer works for you, and only gets paid if you are awarded a settlement.


#5 – You May Need A Personal Injury Attorney If You Have Been Injured And Liability Is Unclear


Sometimes, you get injured and there are multiple parties involved. Or maybe a product you have purchased has injured you and it is unclear who is specifically at fault.

Your attorney will investigate your claim to uncover the responsible party. Your attorney understands the legal process needed to determine who is liable and has the experience winning settlements for clients who were injured through no fault of their own.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident, suffered from abuse and negligence, or been injured by a defective product? Give us a call for your no cost consultation. Our professional team has years of experience winning claims for our clients.

Working Outside? How to Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

If you’re doing any work outside, the summer heat in Las Vegas, Nevada, can be devastating. Temperatures can reach the high double digits, which is high enough to cause sunstroke, sunburn and heat exhaustion. Staying safe in summer heat is essential, whether you’re working as part of your job or as part of home renovations. Here’s how you can stay safe while working outside in the summer heat:

1) Avoid the hottest parts of the day if you can.

Check the weather forecast to be sure, but in general, most areas will be hottest during the hours between 10 am and 3 pm. During this time, the sun will be at its peak and UV rays will be highest. If you have an option, work earlier in the day or later in the day, when the sun is lower in the sky.

2) Dress for success.

Wear light-colored, thin fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. Wear clothing that allows for easy mobility and keeps you cool. Even though long sleeves may not seem very appealing, a thin shirt with long sleeves can offer you added protection from the sun. Wear a hat, too, as well as sunglasses, to protect you from the sun.

3) Stay hydrated.

Bring plenty of water or a sports drink and drink frequently throughout the day. If you’re working outside in the sun, you may become dehydrated very easily, and this can exacerbate symptoms of stroke and exhaustion. Sip frequently throughout your work day to stay hydrated.

4) Try to work in the shade.

The shade will protect you from the sun, as well as from the sun’s glare and UV rays. Even if you can only work in the shade part of the time, try to do so.

5) Take frequent breaks.

Outdoor work in summer heat is especially dangerous if you overdo it. Working in the summer and in the sun is more dangerous, potentially, than working on a cloudy day or on a cooler day. You will get overworked more easily. Try to shorten your workday and head indoors when you can.

6) Use sunscreen.

Serious sunburns can cause your skin to peel painfully. They can also increase your risk of skin cancer. To prevent burns, wear a sunscreen with a high SPF. Use at least a shot glass or more to cover each part of your body and cover all exposed areas thoroughly. Reapply sunscreen often, especially if you’re working and sweating in the sun. Even waterproof formulas will rub off and wear off with time, so reapply regularly.

7) Be alert to the signs you are getting too much sun.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you need to get out of the sun:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Dry, hot and red skin
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Seizures and unconsciousness
  • Parched, dry mouth
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Lack of sweating

Retreat inside and get immediate medical attention. These may be signs of sunstroke or heat stroke.

Of course, if you’re trying to complete a project at home, it may be relatively easy for you to get inside and into the shade. But what happens if you’re out working and your employer insists on you staying outside until you’re at risk? You may have a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim in Las Vegas or Nevada if your employer’s actions have led to an injury from the sun.

To find out what options you have, contact Dallas Horton & Associates after your injury. Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience helping Nevada plaintiffs get justice. We’d be pleased to meet with you in a consultation.

photo credit via photopin (license)

What You May Not Know About Personal Injury Attorneys

We realize that many people may not understand exactly what personal injury attorneys do, and how they can make a difference between winning and losing your case. In this article, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions about personal injury attorneys, and get to the center of personal injury litigation.

First, a personal injury attorney’s job is probably more complicated that you might think. They are necessary in fighting for your rights as an individual who has been wronged and or injured. If you’ve been involved in a personal injury issue, the single most important thing that you can do is find the right attorney.

We’ve mentioned elsewhere in our blog the importance of evidence, highlighting cases that should have been won, but weren’t, due to a simple evidence gathering snafu. Here at Dallas Horton and Associates, we never want that to be the case when you come to us. In the litigation process, information reigns supreme, and protecting evidence is crucial in personal injury cases. That’s where a personal injury attorney can come in. He or she can help you collect information pertinent to your case; this process is called the “discovery” process. It is a crucial part of our job to lock in all the details about your case to best assist you. The sooner that you have someone on your side collecting evidence and information, the better and stronger your case will be.

A personal injury attorney can also help you accurately determine your damages. It’s easy to see how much an accident will cost you in bills, but there a whole other level of damages involved that need to be addressed. For example, how would you know how much is due for pain and distress? How would you know how much you are owed do to missing work and future work? A solid personal injury attorney can help you determine the answers to these questions, and walk you through various scenarios.

Sometimes, seeking a settlement is in the client’s best interest as it can save you time and money, along with getting cash to you expeditiously. Reaching a settlement, though, can be complicated, with a lot of inherent give and take. Always remember that the other side is also looking to get the best deal for their client. A good personal injury attorney understands what your case is worth, and will know when it’s best to reach a settlement, and will be able to apply leverage when necessary to get the best deal for you.

A skilled personal injury attorney, like the legal team at Dallas Horton and Associates ensures that you’ll get a fair shake in court. We hope that this article has cleared up some of your misconceptions about personal injury attorneys.

How important do you think a personal injury attorney is when litigating? If you have a personal injury case or questions, we urge you to contact us.

Nevada Supreme Court Upheld $32.2 million Against Goodyear

The below story shows how a single car accident in Las Vegas can destroy the lives of so many families. This was not only a vehicle case, but also a wrongful death case that shook Las Vegas residents to their core. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these victims.

The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld a $32.2 million judgment in Clark County against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company related to a single-car accident that killed three people and injured seven.

The court rejected the claim of Goodyear that the amount awarded by the jury was excessive.

The majority decision, written by Justice Mark Gibbons, said there was sufficient evidence to justify the amount because of the loss of life and serious injuries and it does “not shock our judicial conscience.”

The car’s occupants were traveling from Nevada to Kansas to attend a boxing match when a tire blew out and the vehicle overturned near Moab, Utah, on Interstate 70 on Aug. 16, 2004. Killed were Evertina Tapia, Andres Torres and Frank Enriquez.

A suit was filed by the surviving relatives and guardians of the children against Goodyear, Ford Motor Company and Valley View Hitch & Truck Rental. Both Ford and Valley View settled their claim.

During the pre-trial maneuvering, District Judge Sally Loehrer found that Goodyear failed to produce a witness and gave improper responses to interrogatories. She found that Goodyear “has taken the approach of stalling, obstructing and objecting” in its pre-trial behavior. As a sanction, Loehrer ruled that Goodyear could not present a defense of liability but only could argue to the jury the amount of compensatory damages and if it was subject to punitive damages.

The jury came back with the $32.2 million verdict but didn’t return punitive damages.

The survivors also appealed Loehrer’s decision that they would have to establish liability to receive punitive damages. The Supreme Court, however, backed up Loehrer in her ruling on the issue.

Justice Kristina Pickering dissented from the majority, saying Judge Loehrer imposed an “excessive penalty” on Goodyear’s pre-trial conduct. She said there was no evidentiary hearing to decide the disputed issues of fact over the blown tire.

She said the most fundamental of due process rights for Goodyear were violated.

Source: Las Vegas Sun

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