Friday, August 28, 2009

Nebraska Supreme Court reverses Court of Appeals decision that dismissed appeal of landlord's complaint for indemnificaiton against tenant bank arising from a bank customer's personal injury lawsuit. Kuhn v. Wells Fargo Bank of Neb., S-08-141, 278 Neb. 428 The burden of proving mootness is on the party seeking dismissal "Maintenance of a building," within the meaning of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21,187(1) (Reissue 2008), does not encompass the ordinary activities associated with management of commercial property. Indemnification is distinguishable from the closely related remedy of contribution in that the latter involves a sharing of the loss between parties jointly liable. "The Court of Appeals erred by dismissing this appeal as moot, because the burden had not yet been placed on (landlord) to prove damages, and the record does not foreclose the possibility that (landlord) was liable to (injured plaintiff). The district court erred in concluding that paragraph 20 was ambiguous, and we find no merit to the Bank’s alternative reasons why paragraph 20 was purportedly unenforceable. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the cause remanded to the Court of Appeals with directions to reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the cause to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

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