CACI 1000 Premises Liability—Essential Factual Elements

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

1000 Premises Liability—Essential Factual Elements

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was harmed because of the way [name of defendant] managed [his/her/nonbinary pronoun/its] property. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1.That [name of defendant] [owned/leased/occupied/controlled] the property;

2.That [name of defendant] was negligent in the use or maintenance of the property;

3.That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and

4.That [name of defendant]’s negligence was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.

Directions for Use

For cases involving public entity defendants, see instructions on dangerous conditions of public property (CACI No. 1100 et seq.).

Sources and Authority

General Duty to Exercise Due Care. Civil Code section 1714(a).

“The elements of a negligence claim and a premises liability claim are the same: a legal duty of care, breach of that duty, and proximate cause resulting in injury. Premises liability ‘ “is grounded in the possession of the premises and the attendant right to control and manage the premises” ’; accordingly, ‘ “mere possession with its attendant right to control conditions on the premises is a sufficient basis for the imposition of an affirmative duty to act.” ’ But the duty arising from possession and control of property is adherence to the same standard of care that applies in negligence cases. In determining whether a premises owner owes a duty to persons on its property, we apply the Rowland [Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108 [70 Cal.Rptr. 97, 443 P.2d 561]] factors. Indeed, Rowland itself involved premises liability.’ ” (Kesner v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.5th 1132, 1159 [210 Cal.Rptr.3d 283, 384 P.3d 283], internal citations omitted.)

“The owner of premises is under a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of such premises in order to avoid exposing persons to an unreasonable risk of harm. A failure to fulfill this duty is negligence.” (Brooks v. Eugene Burger Management Corp. (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1611, 1619 [264 Cal.Rptr. 756].)

“ ‘[P]roperty owners are liable for injuries on land they own, possess, or control.’ But … the phrase ‘own, possess, or control’ is stated in the alternative. A defendant need not own, possess and control property in order to be held liable; control alone is sufficient.” (Alcaraz v. Vece (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1149, 1162 [60 Cal.Rptr.2d 448, 929 P.2d 1239], original italics, internal citations omitted.)

“ ‘ “[A] landowner’s duty of care to avoid exposing others to a risk of injury is not limited to injuries that occur on premises owned or controlled by the landowner.” ’ ‘Rather, the duty of care encompasses a duty to avoid exposing persons to risks of injury that occur off site if the landowner’s property is maintained in such a manner as to expose persons to an unreasonable risk of injury offsite.’ ” (Kesner, supra, 5 Cal.5th at p. 1159, internal citations omitted.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1224–1228
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 15, General Premises Liability, § 15.01 (Matthew Bender)
6 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 170, The Premises: Duties and Liabilities, §§ 170.01, 170.20 (Matthew Bender)
11 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 381, Tort Liability of Property Owners, § 381.01 (Matthew Bender)
36 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 421, Premises Liability, § 421.11 (Matthew Bender)
17 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 178, Premises Liability, § 178.20 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts §§ 16:1–16:3 (Thomson Reuters)