The concerted acts of multiple defendants create liability amongst each defendant. The issue becomes the amount of damages each must pay as a result of the negligence they each caused. Under Nevada Law, joint tortfeasers are liable 100% if they are liable for 1% of the damages.
What this means in layman’s terms is simply that if a victim is injured as a result of multiple causes (e.g. more than one at fault party: two rifle shots, two cars crashing, etc.) the law will not distinguish who must pay the victim as the victim may recover all damages from either party. Thus, a deep insurance pocket or business entity may be on the hook for the whole amount of the damages depending on a jury’s determination of any fault. So, if a jury determines the concerted efforts of multiple parties contributed to an accident, the Plaintiff need only prove either party did something wrong. This equates to getting 100% of the damages.
NRS 41.141 When comparative negligence not bar to recovery; jury instructions; liability of multiple defendants.
1. In any action to recover damages for death or injury to persons or for injury to property in which comparative negligence is asserted as a defense, the comparative negligence of the plaintiff or his decedent does not bar a recovery if that negligence was not greater than the negligence or gross negligence of the parties to the action against whom recovery is sought.
2. In those cases, the judge shall instruct the jury that:
(a) The plaintiff may not recover if his comparative negligence or that of his decedent is greater than the negligence of the defendant or the combined negligence of multiple defendants.
(b) If the jury determines the plaintiff is entitled to recover, it shall return:
(1) By general verdict the total amount of damages the plaintiff would be entitled to recover without regard to his comparative negligence; and
(2) A special verdict indicating the percentage of negligence attributable to each party remaining in the action.
3. If a defendant in such an action settles with the plaintiff before the entry of judgment, the comparative negligence of that defendant and the amount of the settlement must not thereafter be admitted into evidence nor considered by the jury. The judge shall deduct the amount of the settlement from the net sum otherwise recoverable by the plaintiff pursuant to the general and special verdicts.
4. Where recovery is allowed against more than one defendant in such an action, except as otherwise provided in subsection 5, each defendant is severally liable to the plaintiff only for that portion of the judgment which represents the percentage of negligence attributable to him.
5. This section does not affect the joint and several liability, if any, of the defendants in an action based upon:
(a) Strict liability;
(b) An intentional tort;
(c) The emission, disposal or spillage of a toxic or hazardous substance;
(d) The concerted acts of the defendants; or
(e) An injury to any person or property resulting from a product which is manufactured, distributed, sold or used in this State.
6. As used in this section:
(a) “Concerted acts of the defendants” does not include negligent acts committed by providers of health care while working together to provide treatment to a patient.
(b) “Provider of health care” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 629.031.
(Added to NRS by 1973, 1722; A 1979, 1356; 1987, 1697; 1989, 72)
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