(CN) – A man whose nose was partially bitten off at a football tailgate party cannot collect damages from anyone but his opponent in the fight, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled.
Roy Sparks and his wife threw a party for their son before a 2002 football game between the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) and the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR).
Jeffrey Clack and two other men were near the Sparks’ car when the family went to put away the cake and gifts. Clack and Sparks got into a fracas that ended with Sparks losing a chunk of his nose. Sparks has undergone two surgeries to repair the damage to his nose.
The Sparks family sued Clack, UNLV Foundation, Sam Boyd Stadium and Alpha Tao Omega fraternity. They amended the complaint to add the fraternity’s chapters at both schools, as well as the national organization.
More than two years after filing the case, the Sparks amended it again to add the UNR Alumni Association, which hosted the tailgate function that Clack attended, as well as Southern Nevada Young Alumni Club, which provided Clack’s transportation to the party.
The trial court ruled in favor of the fraternity and alumni respondents, claiming that the Sparks took too long to name them as defendants.
“The Sparkses’ inexplicable delay in ascertaining the identity of the Alumni respondents and their failure to promptly amend their complaint once they ascertained the proper identity of the Alumni respondents demonstrates a lack of reasonable diligence,” Justice James Hardesty wrote on behalf of the court.
Also, the court ruled that the fraternity respondents were not responsible for Clack’s actions.
“The ATO respondents had no duty to control Clack outside of their tailgate area,” he added, using the abbreviation for Alpha Tao Omega.