Cafe Moda, LLC v. Palma

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Justia Opinion Summary

Matt Richards and Donny Palma were patrons on Cafe Moda's premises. During an altercation between the two, Richards stabbed Palma repeatedly. Palma brought suit against Richards and Cafe Moda, pursuing an intentional-tort theory of liability against Richards and a negligence theory of liability against Cafe Moda. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Palma, apportioning eighty percent of the fault to Richards and the remaining twenty percent to Cafe Moda. Based upon its reading of Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.141, Nevada's comparative-negligence statute, the district court held both Richards and Cafe Moda jointly and severally liable for 100 percent of Palma's damages. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) section 41.141 was ambiguous as to whether liability could be apportioned between a negligent tortfeasor and an intentional tortfeasor, the legislature intended that it permit such an apportionment; and (2) Cafe Moda was severally liable for twenty percent of Respondent's damages, and Richards was jointly and severally liable for 100 percent of Palma's damages.