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Nevada v. Hall

United States Supreme Court
440 U.S. 410 (1979)


Facts

Hall and others (plaintiffs) were California residents and suffered severe injuries when their vehicle collided with a car driven by a University of Nevada employee on a California roadway. The Nevada driver, who was engaged in official business for the university at the time of the accident, died in the crash. Hall filed suit against the State of Nevada (defendant) in California state court. Nevada urged the trial court to limit damages to $25,000, which was a feature of Nevada’s statutory waiver of sovereign immunity. California did not have a similar damages cap. The trial court denied Nevada’s motion. The jury held for Hall and awarded $1,150,000 in damages. Nevada appealed. The California Court of Appeal affirmed. After the Supreme Court of California denied review, Nevada successfully sought review by the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

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