January 4, 2011
Nevada Supreme Court upholds ‘civil death penalty’
On December 30, 2010, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling in Bahena v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., a case in which a Clark County district judge had imposed the ultimate sanction against the company for supposed discovery violations — prohibiting Goodyear from defending itself. The underlying case involved a $32.2 million judgment against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in a single-car accident that killed three people and injured seven others.
The Nevada Supreme Court, in a 6-1 decision said it did not overlook any material facts or misapply the law.
The dissenting Justice said she would have granted a rehearing because the default judgment in the case rested on the District Court “choosing to believe one side’s lawyers over another’s with no evidentiary hearing, no cross-examination and a genuine dispute over willfulness, fault, and prejudice.”