In the important new case of Khoury v. Seastrand, 132 Nev., Advance Opinion
52, filed (yesterday) on July 28, 2016, the Nevada Supreme Court held
that attorneys can ask jurors questions concerning specific verdict amounts
to determine potential bias or prejudice against returning large verdicts.
The Court stated that the inability of a juror to apply the law and the
instructions of the court displays bias.
Also, the Court held that in determining whether a juror should be dismissed
for cause (in voir dire), a juror’s statements must be taken as a whole.
The Court also discussed other issues that routinely come up in injury
litigation. For instance, the Court discussed whether treating doctors
must conform to expert report requirements. The Court reinforced the long-held
view that while a treating doctor is exempt from the reporting requirement,
this exemption only extends to opinions formed during the course of treatment.
A medical provider in this case sold a lien to a third party. Significantly,
the Court upheld the concurring opinion in Tri-County Equip. & Leasing
v. Klinke and asserted: “Here, assuming that Seastrand’s medical
provider sold her liens to a third party for less than their face value,
they are functionally similar to a write-down made to a third party insurer.”
Therefore, the Court held that evidence of write-downs and the sale of
medical liens was irrelevant to a jury’s determination of the reasonable
value of medical services provided. The Court thus kept intact these crucial
elements of the collateral source rule (evidence of the paid amount as
opposed to the billed amount is inadmissible at trial; evidence that insurance
paid part of a bill inadmissible; evidence that a provider "wrote
down" fees inadmissible; evidence of the sale of a lien inadmissible).