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Leach v. Mason Valley M. Co.

December 31, 1916

WILLIAM O. LEACH, APPELLANT, V. MASON VALLEY MINES COMPANY (A CORPORATION), RESPONDENT.


Appeal from Second Judicial District Court, Washoe County; R. C. Stoddard, Judge.

Dixon & Miller, for Appellant.

Brown & Belford, W. H. King, and P. T. Farnsworth, Jr., for Respondent.

By the Court, Norcross, C. J.: This is an action for damages for personal injuries sustained by the appellant while employed in respondent's mine, commonly known and called the “Mason Valley Mine,” in the county of Lyon, State of Nevada.

As a defense to appellant's alleged cause of action, respondent in its answer alleged that a compromise and settlement of any claim of appellant against respondent, on account of said injuries, was made between appellant and respondent in the city of San Francisco, State of California, on the 11th day of December, 1912, and that respondent then and there paid to appellant the sum of $2,175 in full settlement of said claim; that appellant, in consideration of such payment, and for other valuable consideration, made and delivered to the defendant a release of all liability by reason or on account of the said injuries and that said release was duly acknowledged by said plaintiff before a notary public in and for the city and county of San Francisco, and was and is in words and figures as follows, to wit:

“San Francisco, December 11, 1912.

“Received of Mason Valley Mines Company the sum of two thousand one hundred seventy-five dollars ($2,175)

[40 Nev. 143, Page 148]

in consideration whereof I hereby release and forever discharge the said Mason Valley Mines Company, it successors and assigns, from any or all claims and demands, actions and causes of action, and liability of every kind and nature whatsoever for, upon or on account of or by reason of any loss, damage, injury or liability sustained or which may be sustained by me in consequence of injuries received by me, the undersigned, William O. Leach, on or about the 3d day of March, 1912, in the Mason Valley Company's mines in the State of Nevada, resulting in loss of limb, and eyesight and other injuries. W. O. Leach.”

Upon the conclusion of the taking of testimony at the trial, the court instructed the jury to return a verdict in favor of the defendant. This instruction constitutes one of the 101 assignments of error in this case.

The only question necessary to consider in this case, we think, is whether appellant is bound by the compromise and settlement of his claim for damages made by him with respondent in the State of California. There is no substantial conflict in the evidence relative to the making of the settlement in question. It was a result of negotiations covering a considerable period of time, including correspondence in which the precise terms of the final agreement were discussed. There is no contention or room for contention of any fraud upon the part of respondent in the procurement of the settlement with and the obtaining of the written release from appellant. The amount paid by respondent to appellant was approximately and possibly more than he could have received, had he elected to have settled with respondent under the provisions of an act of the legislature of this state, approved March 24, 1911 (Stats. 1911, p. 362), entitled:

“An act determining certain employments and industries to be especially dangerous, establishing a system of compensation for accidents to workmen engaged therein, requiring employers or contractors carrying on such industries to pay compensation, entitling injured workmen or their legal representatives to receive such

[40 Nev. 143, Page 149]

compensation, fixing the amount of same and the manner of payment, fixing the time within which claims for compensation must be made, prescribing the manner and method of giving notice to such owner or contractor of such accident, providing for the manner of settling disputed claims by arbitration, providing for their final determination by courts of justice, and granting to courts of justice certain ...


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