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Mahban v. MGM Grand Hotels - 100 Nev. 593, 691 P.2d 421 (1984)

Rule:

A waiver is the intentional relinquishment of a known right and may be implied from conduct which evidences an intention to waive a right, or by conduct which is inconsistent with any other intention than to waive the right.

Facts:

Plaintiff Alexander Mahban leased retail spaces and operated to shops within a hotel owned and operated by defendant MGM Grand Hotels, Inc. ("MGM"). The hotel was closed after being damaged by a fire. MGM sent Mahban a letter that indicated its intent on establishing a reopening date and a date when Mahban could begin remodeling, and that any construction plans had to be approved by MGM. MGM subsequently informed Mahban that it was terminating the leases pursuant to the destruction-of-premises section of the leases. Mahban then filed a breach of contract action against MGM in Nevada state court seeking damages. Mahban alleged that, in reliance upon MGM's first letter, he ordered merchandise for restocking one of his shops. MGM filed a motion for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The trial court concluded that, as a matter of law, Mahban could not have reasonably relied on the letter because the letter contained no representation as to whether MGM intended to waive its contractual rights pursuant to the destruction-of-premises clause. Mahban appealed.

Issue:

Did the trial court err by granting MGM summary judgment in Mahban's breach of contract action?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court reversed the trial court's judgment and remanded the case to that court for further proceedings. The court ruled that that summary judgment was improper because material questions of fact existed on the issues of waiver and estoppel. The language in the first letter sent b MGM to Mahban allowed an inference of intent on the part of MGM not to exercise its termination right and could have been read to have encouraged Mahban's acts in anticipation of reopening.

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