Pack v. LaTourette

Annotate this Case
Justia Opinion Summary

David Zinni was injured when his car was struck by a taxicab driven by Appellant Sun Cab's employee. Zinni filed a personal-injury action against Sun Cab. During discovery, Sun Cab learned that Respondent Dr. Gary LaTourette may have negligently treated Zinni after the accident. Sun Cab subsequently filed a third-party complaint against LaTourette, asserting claims for equitable indemnity and contribution based on LaTourette's alleged medical malpractice. The district court dismissed Sun Cab's complaint as untimely. The Supreme Court affirmed but on different grounds, holding (1) because there was no preexisting relationship between the parties in this case, and because the claims against the third-party plaintiffs were based on their active negligence, the equitable indemnity claim was properly dismissed; (2) a party need not pay toward a judgment before bringing a claim for contribution, and as such, the third-party contribution claim was not properly dismissed on that ground; and (3) when a claim for contribution is contingent upon a successful showing of medical malpractice, a claimant must satisfy the expert affidavit requirement of Nev. Rev. Stat. 41A.071, and therefore, the third-party plaintiffs' failure to attach an expert affidavit warranted dismissal of their complaint, but such dismissal should have been without prejudice.