Summary of Grotts v. Zahner (1999) Pg. 538, 989 P.2d 415 (Nev. 1999)
Parties: Appellant – Plaintiff – Grotts
Appellee – Defendant – Zahner
Court: Court of Appeals – Nevada, 1999
Facts: Grotts and her fiancé were involved in a car accident with Zahner. Grotts’ fiancé received fatal injuries as a result of the accident. Grotts filed suit against Zahner on the grounds of bystander NIED.
Procedural Posture: TC – dismissed Grotts claim of bystander emotional distress on the ground that she was not by law “closely related" to her fiancé.
Issue: Are fiancés considered a close enough relationship to constitute a charge of bystander NIED against a defendant’s negligence?
Judgment: Affirmed TC’s decision on the same grounds
Holding: The court ruled that as a matter of law that a fiancé is not considered a close enough relationship to recover for bystander NIED damages. It is only reserved for family relationships by blood or marriage.
Holding: It should be left up to a jury to decide the closeness of the relationship and not based upon the judge’s interpretation of the law.
Relevant Rule: A fiancé is not considered a close enough relationship to recover for bystander NIED damages. It is only reserved for family relationships by blood or marriage.