In Nevada the statute of limitations is two years on most tort actions. There are, however, different rules that govern specific tort actions, and therefore a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer should always be had. In Medical mal-practice actions, the limitations period has been reduced to 1 year. Claims involving minor children is extended to one year after the child’s 18th birthday, but many reasons exist to prosecute the case before the time period expires. Nevada law also has some exceptions to the statute of limitations periods as outlined by Nevada Law. Please see below. If you have a question regarding the time period in which you have to file a personal injury lawsuit, call Benson & Bingham today.
In a wrongful death case, the expiration of an adult heir’s SOL does not affect the distinct SOL afforded a minor heir. See, Parker v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 88 Nev. 560, 502 P.2d 111 (Nev., 1972) – [quoting] Each heir has a separate relational interest in the life of the deceased, and damages are determined according to those separate interests. The mere fact that the judgment, if one is recovered, should be in a lump sum, Wells, Inc. v. Shoemake, 64 Nev. 57, 73, 177 P.2d 451 (1947), does not destroy separability since either the heirs, or the court upon proper application, may apportion the award. It follows, therefore, that a defense, good against the claim of one heir, is not fatal to the others, any more than a settlement by one could bar the rights of all. It is equally clear that the running of the statute of limitations is suspended during the period of their minority. NRS 11.250(1), (3).
“Insanity” tolling of the SOL per NRS 11.250 does not apply only to instances of “insanity” in the traditional sense, but also applies when someone has “an inability to manage one’s affairs.” See, Butler ex rel. Biller v. Bayer, 168 P.3d 1055 (Nev., 2007) – [quoting] [FN] 23 … because Butler’s injuries rendered him “insane,” NRS 11.250 tolled the applicable statute of limitations, indicating that Butler’s claims against Smith were not time barred. See, Smith By and Through Smith v. City of Reno, 580 F.Supp. 591, 592 (D.Nev.1984) (interpreting “insane” as used in NRS 11.250 “to include a mental disability resulting in the inability to manage one’s affairs”).
An allegation of fraud or estoppel which arguably had the effect of causing plaintiff to refrain from filing suit is sufficient to raise a question of fact (for the jury) which defeats summary judgment on SOL grounds. See, Harrison v. Rodriguez, 701 P.2d 1015, 101 Nev. 297 (Nev., 1985) – [quoting] Cynthia filed suit alleging negligence against Rodriguez on February 8, 1983. Rodriguez moved for summary judgment on the ground that the statute of limitations had run. The motion was granted.
Ronald Harrison, Cynthia’s father, alleged in his deposition that agents of Farmers made certain statements to him, to the effect that Farmers would pay “all medical bills.” We assume these statements were in fact made, since “we must accept as true all evidence favorable to the party against whom the judgment was rendered.” Stone v. Mission Bay Mortgage Co., 99 Nev. 802, 804, 672 P.2d 629, 630. Additionally, “in evaluating the propriety of a summary judgment, the evidence will be reviewed in the light most favorable to the party against whom summary judgment was rendered.” Hampton v. Washoe County, 99 Nev. 819, 822, 672 P.2d 640, 641 (1983). The intent with which the statements were made is an issue of fact for the jury to resolve. If the jury were to find that the statements were made with the intent to mislead Harrison as to the total amount Farmers would pay, or to cause him to refrain from filing suit, such an intent could give rise to an estoppel to assert the statute of limitations as a defense. Therefore, it cannot be said that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that Rodriguez is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Rodriguez contends that since Harrison’s complaint showed on its face that the statute of limitations had run, Harrison is precluded from raising circumstances which might give rise to an estoppel, since such circumstances were not pleaded. We do not agree.
NRCP 8(d) states, in relevant part: “[A]verments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided.” Rodriguez’s answer sets up the statute of limitations as a defense. No responsive pleading is required or permitted in answer to this defense; therefore, it is taken as denied or avoided. Even though the running of the statutory period stands admitted in the summary judgment proceedings, issues of fact on estoppel and perhaps fraud remain. Summary judgment is not proper under such a set of circumstances; consequently, the case is reversed and remanded.
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