Legal Memorandum: Restitution Award in NV

Issue: Under Nevada law, is a defendant who is found liable for negligence entitled to an offset of damages for either court ordered restitution or for the money paid by a Victims of Crime Program to the victim’s medical providers?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Restitution order; Compensatory and punitive damages
Jurisdiction: Federal, Nevada
Cited Cases: 534 N.E.2d 243; 579 A.2d 69
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2000

           Some states have statutes specifying the effect of a criminal restitution award on a judgment in a civil action.  Regardless of whether a state has a statutory provision, however, the reported cases on point provide for an offset to compensatory damages for restitution actually received.  Nevada does not have a statutory provision or any cases on point, so cases from other jurisdictions are informative.  The cases do not discuss the amount of restitution ordered vis-à-vis the actual amount received by the victim from the perpetrator or from a Crime Victims Program.  Instead, the cases refer to the amount actually received by the victim as the result of court ordered restitution.  

The following cases provide for an offset.  No cases were found that did not provide for an offset.

·         A-G Foods, Inc. v. Pepperidge Farm, Inc., 216 Conn. 200, 579 A.2d 69 (1990) (Distributor of baked goods was held criminally liable for charging grocery store for products not actually delivered.  Distributor paid the victim $88,000 pursuant to a restitution order.  The grocery store brought an action against the baker for negligent supervision of the distributor, seeking compensatory and punitive damages.  The court awarded the plaintiff $250,000 in compensatory damages against the baker, offset by the $88,000 already received as restitution.  The appeals court upheld the judgment on the basis that the plaintiff had already received partial payment of his actual losses from the other joint tortfeasor.)

·         Blankenship v. McKay,