Theresa Thibeau

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In an opinion drafted by Justice Hardesty, the Nevada Supreme Court considered the applicability of NRS 17.245(1)(a), which governs the effect of a release or covenant not to sue in the context of tort liability with multiple defendants. Although NRS 17.245(1)(a) discharges the tortfeasor with a release or covenant from liability for contribution, it does not discharge any of the other tortfeasors from liability for the injury. However, it does reduce the claim against other settling tortfeasors by the amount stipulated by the release or covenant from the nonsettling tortfeasor, thereby equitably offsetting the judgment. The Court held that NRS 17.245(1)(a)’s applicability depends on whether the settling and nonsettling defendants were responsible for the same injury. Further, the Court held that offset award calculations pursuant to NRS 17.245(1)(a) include taking into consideration the relationship of the judgment to settling defendants.