Las Vegas Sun

August 19, 2019

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Vegas motorcyclist loses appeal, complaint dismissed in Harmon Tower case

CARSON CITY — A Las Vegas motorcyclist who crashed into a median and sustained a brain injury has lost his appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court to continue with his case.

In a 4-2 ruling, the court rejected the appeal of Andy Lee Anderson who was injured in an accident on Rainbow Boulevard in April 2005.

District Judge Michelle Leavitt granted a pre-trial summary judgment in favor of Wells Cargo Inc., the general contractor for the median, and Superior Traffic Services Corp., responsible for temporary traffic control, permanent signs and striping.

The majority of the court said Anderson failed to present general facts that the case should continue. He had no recollection of the event and presented an expert witness to show the condition of the median. But the expert didn’t get a look at it until two years after the accident.

The dissenting justices — Michael Cherry and Mark Gibbons — said Judge Leavitt was wrong in granting the pre-trial motion. They said Anderson should have the chance to go forward with discovery to gather more evidence.

In another ruling the court granted a writ sought by Converse Professional Group to dismiss a suit against it involving the ill-fated construction of the 48-story Harmon Tower in the CityCenter Project.

This was a four-way civil action in this case.

Converse was hired by MGM/Mirage Design Group to test and inspect the project. During construction of the Harmon it was discovered that rebar and link beams were improperly installed. Construction stopped. And it was revealed that rebar and link beams were in a substantially defective condition.

Perini Building Company, the general contractor, sued MGM/Mirage to recover payments owed. MGM/Mirage countered sued. Perini then sued subcontractors Century Steel and Pacific Coast Steel, accusing them of defective reinforcing steel work.

Century Steel and Pacific Coast Steel then filed suit against Converse Professional, accusing it of improperly inspecting the work on the project.

The Supreme Court overturned the decision of District Judge Elizabeth Gonzales who ruled discovery may be conducted by Century and Pacific Coast. The court said that factual basis of fraud must be alleged before discovery can be conducted and it was not carried out in this case.

And the writ of mandamus was granted dismissing the complaint against Converse Professional Group.

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