Justia Contracts Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Nevada
Airbnb, Inc. v. Rice
The Supreme Court held that the district court erred in denying Appellant's motion to compel arbitration and refusing to submit the arbitrability determination under the circumstances of this case to an arbitrator.Plaintiffs sued Airbnb, Inc. for wrongful death and personal injury alleging that Airbnb's services had been used by a party's host to rent the house where a shooting occurred, resulting in a fatality. Airbnb moved to compel arbitration, arguing that Plaintiffs had agreed to Airbnb's Terms of Service during the registration process for their accounts. The district court denied the motion to compel. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Federal Arbitrability Administration governed the enforcement of arbitration agreement at issue, and because the agreement delegated the arbitrability question to an arbitrator, the district court erred in deciding the arbitrability question. View "Airbnb, Inc. v. Rice" on Justia Law
Uber Technologies, Inc. v. Royz
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion to compel arbitration, holding that where an arbitration agreement delegates the threshold question of arbitrability to the arbitrator, the district court must refer to the case to arbitration, even if the court concludes that the dispute is not subject to the arbitration agreement.Respondents filed a personal injury lawsuit against Uber after their Uber driver rear-ended another Uber driver. Uber moved to compel arbitration on the grounds that Respondents had agreed to arbitrate their claims. The district court denied the motion, concluding that the arbitration agreement did not plainly provide that the parties agreed to submit this particular dispute to arbitration. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that where the arbitration agreement's delegation clause expressly requires the arbitrator to determine threshold issues of arbitrability, the district court erred by denying Uber's motion to compel on the ground that the claims were not subject to the arbitration agreement. View "Uber Technologies, Inc. v. Royz" on Justia Law
Federal National Mortgage Ass’n v. Westland Liberty Village, LLC
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court finding that there was no default of the loan in this case and issuing a wide-ranging preliminary injunction reaching matters that were not argued or briefed, holding that the district court erred in disregarding the loan agreements' provisions setting forth what constituted a default.At issue before the Supreme Court was the conditions under which a lender or its assignee is entitled to the appointment of a receiver after a borrower defaults on a real property loan agreement. Once Borrower in this case assumed ownership of properties housing multi-family apartment complexes the lender observed a significant decrease in occupancy. Observing that significant repairs were needed and relying on specific provisions in the loan agreements Lender demanded deposits into repair and replacement escrow accounts. Lender deemed a default when Borrower did not make the deposits. Lender sued and sought a receiver. Borrower countersued alleging breach of contract and seeking injunctive relief. The district court granted judgment for Borrower. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court (1) abused its discretion in refusing to appoint a receiver on Borrower's default; and (2) abused its discretion in issuing a preliminary injunction. View "Federal National Mortgage Ass'n v. Westland Liberty Village, LLC" on Justia Law
SR Construction, Inc. v. Peek Brothers Construction, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying SR Construction, Inc.'s motion to compel arbitration because its master subcontract agreement (MSA) with Peek Brothers Construction, Inc. constituted a valid arbitration provision that applied to the parties' underlying dispute, holding that the dispute was arbitrable.On appeal, SR argued that the district court erred in holding that the underlying dispute fell outside the bounds of the parties' arbitration agreement.The Supreme Court agreed and reversed, holding (1) as applied, the MSA provision was broad, and an attendant presumption of arbitrability applied; and (2) Peek's dispute was presumptively arbitrable under the parties' agreement. View "SR Construction, Inc. v. Peek Brothers Construction, Inc." on Justia Law
APCO Construction, Inc. v. Helix Electric of Nev., LLC
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court determining that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied when it awarded delay damages to a subcontractor, holding that the district court properly determined that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing applied and that the contractor breached the covenant.At issue on appeal was (1) whether the district court properly applied the covenant of good faith and fair dealing when it awarded delay damages to a subcontractor, and (2) whether the subcontractor waived its right to receive delay damages by signing a waiver and release to receive its retention. The Supreme Court held (1) the covenant of good faith and fair dealing allowed for the subcontractor to receive delay damages; and (2) the conditional release and waiver the subcontractor signed did not preclude it from receiving delay damages. View "APCO Construction, Inc. v. Helix Electric of Nev., LLC" on Justia Law
Helix Electric of Nev., LLC v. APCO Construction, Inc.
In this construction contract action, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Helix Electric of Nevada, LLC's claims for retention against APCO Construction, Inc. and the award of attorney fees for APCO pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 68 for less than APCO's requested amount.Gemstone Development West, Inc. sought to construct condominiums and hired APCO as its general contractor. APCO subcontracted with Helix at Gemstone's direction. Helix was paid less than it billed, and the difference, $505,021, was withheld in retention. Under the subcontract, the retention would be released only upon the occurrence of several conditions. Later, the relationship between the parties soured, and the project was terminated. APCO, Helix, and other subcontractors recorded mechanics' liens against the property. After a trial, the district court dismissed Helix's claims for retention against APCO and granted attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly concluded that a subcontract provision conditioning the payment of funds on APCO first being paid was unenforceable, but the unenforceablity of the pay-if-paid condition did not also invalidate the remaining conditions precedent for obtaining the retention payment; and (2) none of the remaining arguments on appeal warranted reversal. View "Helix Electric of Nev., LLC v. APCO Construction, Inc." on Justia Law
Maide, LLC v. Dileo
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court concluding that an arbitration provision was void under Nev. Rev. Stat. 597.995 for failure to include a specific authorization, holding that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. 1 et seq., preempted section 597.955, and therefore, the district court's decision was erroneous.Nev. Rev. Stat. 597.995 requires any agreement that includes an arbitration provision to include a specific authorization for that provision. The district court concluded that the arbitration provision at issue in this case was void for failure to include a specific authorization, as required by section 597.995. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because section 597.995 singles out and disfavors arbitration provisions by imposing stricter requirements on them than on other contract provisions, the FAA preempts the statute in cases involving interstate commerce; and (2) the district court erred by concluding that section 597.995 voided the parties' arbitration agreement. View "Maide, LLC v. Dileo" on Justia Law
News+Media Capital Group LLC v. Las Vegas Sun, Inc.
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court confirming an arbitration award in a commercial contract matter, holding that there was no error.The parties in this case were two newspapers with a lengthy contractual relationship. The parties' contract contained a provision submitting disputes arising out of the contract to binding private arbitration. A dispute arose over amounts owed under the parties' contract, and the matter was submitted to arbitration. After the arbitrator rendered an award, both parties sought to vacate portions of the award by arguing that the arbitrator's award was so egregiously wrong that the arbitrator had clearly failed to apply the contract at all. The district court confirmed the award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly found that there was no clear and convincing evidence that the arbitrator had exceeded his powers, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, or manifestly disregarded the law. View "News+Media Capital Group LLC v. Las Vegas Sun, Inc." on Justia Law
Clark v. Service Employees International Union
The Supreme Court held that because Nevada's wrongful termination claims do not significantly conflict with any concrete federal interest expressed by the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), the LMRDA did not preempt those claims.This case concerned the termination of the employment of two plaintiffs with the Nevada Service Employees Union. Plaintiffs filed this complaint against Nevada Service Employees Union, Local 1107 and the Service Employees International Union, alleging, inter alia, breach of contract and wrongful termination. The district court granted summary judgment for the Unions, concluding that the LMRDA preempted all of Plaintiffs' claims. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the LMRDA does not preempt state law wrongful termination claims; (2) the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of one of the unions; and (3) the court did not abuse its discretion in denying a union's motion for attorney fees. View "Clark v. Service Employees International Union" on Justia Law
Echeverria v. State
The Supreme Court accepted a question certified to it by the United States District Court for the District of Nevada asking to decide whether Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.031(1) constitutes a waiver of Nevada's sovereign immunity from damages liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), holding that Nevada has waived the defense of sovereign immunity to liability under the FLSA.Appellant and several other employees of the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) filed a putative class and collective action complaint alleging that the State and NDOC violated the FLSA and the state Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA) and breached their contract under state law. The State removed the action to federal district court, where at issue was whether the State possessed sovereign immunity. The district court concluded that the State waived its Eleventh Amendment immunity by removing the case to federal court. The Ninth Circuit affirmed and left open the question of whether the State retained its sovereign immunity from liability. The court then certified the question to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered that, by enacting Nev. Rev. Stat. 41.031(1), Nevada consented to damages liability for a State agency's violation of the minimum wage or overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. View "Echeverria v. State" on Justia Law