In Humphries v. Eight J. Dist. Ct., Nev. Adv. Op. 85 (Nov. 7, 2013), the Nevada Supreme Court continued its discussion of joint and several liability in Nevada after Cafe Moda, L.L.C. v. Palma, 128 Nev. __, 272, P. 3d 137 (2012), and held that a plaintiff is NOT required to name an addtional party defendant who may be a negligent or intentional tortfeasor. The Court held that an already named defendant may implead such an individual or entity as a third party defendant but that the named defendant would be jointly and severally liable for the result and could seek contribution from the third party defendant that it had joined.
This is another case that complicates or clarifies, depending on one’s perspective, Nevada’s already thorny statute that deals with such issues at NRS 41.141. Plaintiffs’ counsel should be aware of the consequences of naming a judgment-proof intentional tortfeasor under Cafe Moda and must be similarly aware that asserting claims against a third-party tortfeasor could eliminate joint and several liability.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.