Attia v. Rusk, 111519 NVSC, 75290
|Opinion Judge:||GIBBONS, C.J.|
|Party Name:||YOSSI ATTIA, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND MOSHE SCHNAPP, AN INDIVIDUAL, Appellants/Cross-Respondents, v. DENNIS E. RUSK, ARCHITECT, LLC, A NEVADA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; AND DENNIS E. RUSK, AN INDIVIDUAL, Respondents/Cross-Appellants.|
|Judge Panel:||Silver, J., Douglas, J. Hon. Eric Johnson, District Judge, Hon. Joanna Kishner, District Judge, M. Nelson Segel, Settlement Judge|
|Case Date:||November 15, 2019|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Nevada|
ORDER AFFIRMING IN PART, REVERSING IN PART AND REMANDING
This is an appeal and cross-appeal from a district court judgment after a bench trial in a breach of contract action. Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County; Joanna Kishner and Eric Johnson, Judges.1
Appellants/cross-respondents Yossi Attia and Moshe Schnapp (Jacob)2 hired respondents/cross-appellants Dennis E. Rusk and Dennis E. Rusk, Architect, LLC (collectively, Rusk) to design the Verge project, a high-rise building in downtown Las Vegas. The relationship between the parties soured due to budgetary concerns and difficulties securing city approval of Rusk's plans, and Attia's company terminated Rusk from the project. The parties then asserted claims against each other related to the project's failure, but later agreed to mutually release all their claims based on a settlement agreement that required Attia and Jacob to pay Rusk.
When Attia and Jacob failed to pay Rusk pursuant to the settlement agreement, Rusk sued them for breach of contract and asserted fraud-based claims, seeking the unpaid balance of the settlement agreement and punitive damages. Attia asserted counterclaims relating to the original contract between the parties and later amended his countersuit to include a claim for fraud in the inducement of the settlement agreement based on allegations that Rusk promised to give them pre-approved plans to complete the Verge project.
The district court bifurcated the trial, limiting the first phase to the issue of whether Rusk fraudulently induced Attia and Jacob into entering into the settlement agreement. After the bench trial on that issue, the district court found that Attia and Jacob failed to prove their fraud claim by clear and convincing evidence and, thus, the settlement agreement was valid. The district court then entered judgment for Rusk on the contract-based claims, ordered Attia and Jacob to pay Rusk damages...
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