October 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 294

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October 21, 2021

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October 20, 2021

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October 19, 2021

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Nevada Supreme Court Adopts New Standard for Income Loss Claims

How is a loss-of-income claim measured? In federal courts, that claim is measured by net post-tax earnings. But certain states have concluded the loss of income should be measured by gross pre-tax earnings. Which one applies to Nevada claims?

In a case decided by the Nevada Supreme Court on August 19, 2021, the question arose from the death of a hand surgeon who was bicycling when he died. At trial the jury awarded $18,746,003.62, of which $2,700,000 was for income loss. The defense argued the income loss damages were improper because the jury was presented evidence only as to the surgeon’s gross income. The Nevada Supreme Court examined the conflicting rulings in federal and state courts, and concluded “gross income is the most workable and realistic measure of what salary would be used to support” a claimant. Using net income was too speculative because it requires predicting future tax policy.

This ruling broadening the damages allowed in state courts might again underscore the potential value of removing a case to federal courts that allow a narrower scope of damages.

© 2021 Wilson ElserNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 240
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About this Author

Michael Lowry Las Vegas Retail Manufacturing Attorney Wilson Elser Law Firm
Partner

Michael Lowry has an active litigation and defense practice, with clients among the country’s largest and most recognizable brands in several industries, such as retail, restaurant and hospitality, commercial transportation, manufacturing and more. As a member of the firm’s emergency response team, when transportation clients face a catastrophic event, Michael and other members of Wilson Elser’s 24/7 go-team arrive on the scene to help gather and preserve information that may be critical to the client’s defense, as well as liaison at the scene with investigating...

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