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Bahena v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Date: August 11, 2011

Nevada Supreme Court

After the trial court struck all of Goodyear's defenses and found the company liable, it held a held a jury trial on damages only, which resulted in a $30 million compensatory damages verdict.  The jury did not find for punitive damages against Goodyear, as the company was able to put forth some exculpatory evidence during the punitive damages phase.
 
The Nevada Supreme Court issued a 6-1 decision upholding the civil death penalty sanction under a fairly low standard for review, as the court did not consider the striking of the defendant's answers to be a "case-ending" sanction. From a small business perspective, it suggests that if a business makes an error in fully complying with discovery request in a lawsuit, it could be subject to the equivalent of a default judgment without due process.
 
Status: DECIDED. Court upheld the district court and the abuse of discretion standard for non-case concluding discovery sanctions in December 2010.

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