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April 2013 Archives

Las Vegas businesses may need to go to tribal court over Skywalk

A ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may affect where businesses in Las Vegas must go to court to resolve a dispute over business conducted on a Native American reservation. The 9th Circuit court recently ruled that a Nevada company must sue an Indian tribe in tribal court instead of going directly to U.S. federal court to pursue its business litigation.

HMO held responsible for doctor's malpractice to tune of $500M

Two subsidiaries of UnitedHealth Group that conduct business in Nevada have been hit with a total of $500 million in punitive damages in a case related to the medical malpractice of a doctor in their network. The verdict could indicate that health insurance companies in Nevada could be required to closely monitor the practices of their doctors and hospitals if they do not want to be exposed to civil liability.

HMO plans to appeal civil verdict for hepatitis outbreak

A Nevada jury has mandated that the state's biggest health management organization (HMO) pay $500 million in punitive damages to three plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit, which derived from a Las Vegas hepatitis outbreak. This verdict comes after a $24 million ruling against the companies for compensatory damages.

$10M spent to win $380K in deceptive business practices case

After a California Internet entrepreneur's two consulting businesses failed, a billionaire energy executive from Florida bought 17,000 bottles of his premium wine at a 2005 auction in New York. The wine was allegedly worth $3.7 million. Unfortunately about two dozen of those bottles turned out to be counterfeits. Worse, the Florida man felt sure the California man knew it.

What's in a name? In restaurant business, maybe a trademark suit

Las Vegas is famous for its restaurants. Besides the gambling, nightclubs and shows, one of the things that attract millions of tourists each year is the chance to eat at a top-flight (and top-dollar) restaurant, perhaps one owned by a celebrity chef like Emeril Lagasse or Mario Batali. Even if no big names are behind the restaurant, as in all businesses, a memorable name for the place itself makes a big difference.

Sands CEO: New Macau policy, not plaintiff, led to $1B casino

On April 2, we discussed two cases being litigated against Las Vegas Sands Corp. in connection with its casino operations in the Chinese island of Macau. In the case that is currently being tried in a Las Vegas courtroom, a Hong Kong businessman says that Sands failed to pay him for his role in securing a gambling license on the island. Sands contends that the agreement never was approved by its CEO, Sheldon Adelson, and that the plaintiff had no role in the company getting the license anyway.

Racetrack owner seeks to enforce oral contract with county

Most business owners in Las Vegas are probably aware that two parties do not legally need to have a written document to have a binding contract. In fact, an oral contract, or an agreement made by spoken words only, can be valid and enforceable in court. However, in reality such "handshake deals" can be difficult to enforce since it can come down to one side's word against the other. In almost any business deal, a written contract is one of the best possible ways to protect yourself from breach of contract claims later.

VirnetX to appeal dismissal of $258M patent infringement lawsuit

VirnetX Holding Corp., a Nevada company, is vowing that it will seek a new trial in its patent-infringement dispute with Cisco Systems Inc. over hardware it sold to help clients establish virtual private networks. A jury in Texas found for Cisco in March, but VirnetX's CEO sounded confident in a statement posted online that the company was correct that Cisco infringed on patents held by his company when it developed the networks.

Sands facing 2 employment lawsuits over Macau operations

The headaches that Las Vegas Sands Corp. is feeling over its casino operations in the Chinese gambling island of Macau are continuing. The company has two lawsuits coming up that were filed by former employees or business partners of Sands' Macau division. Billions of dollars in judgments could be at stake in the commercial litigation.

Henderson, final parties in stadium litigation trying mediation

In the latest chapter in the commercial litigation, the city of Henderson and two of the people involved in the proposed multi-sports stadium complex deal have failed to reach a settlement over accusations of fraud. The two sides are turning to mediation, which is a common form of alternative dispute resolution that many businesses in legal disputes use as a lower cost alternative to court.

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