CACI 1220 Negligence—Essential Factual Elements

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

1220 Negligence—Essential Factual Elements

[Name of plaintiff] [also] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was harmed by [name of defendant]’s negligence and that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun/it] should be held responsible for that harm. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1.That [name of defendant] [designed/manufactured/supplied/installed/inspected/repaired/rented] the [product];

2.That [name of defendant] was negligent in [designing/ manufacturing/supplying/installing/inspecting/repairing/renting] the [product];

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

Use this instruction to allege a manufacturing or design defect under a negligence theory. Also give CACI No. 1221, Negligence—Basic Standard of Care. If a defect is also alleged under a theory of strict liability, include “also” in the first sentence. For an instruction on negligent failure to warn, see CACI No. 1222, Negligence—Manufacturer or Supplier—Duty to Warn—Essential Factual Elements.

This instruction may also be given in an action against a defendant who is alleged to have negligently supplied, installed, inspected, repaired, or rented the product.

Presumably, the judge will have already determined that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty because the product was of a type that could endanger others if it was negligently made. (See Ky. Fried Chicken of Cal. v. Superior Court (1997) 14 Cal.4th 814, 819 [59 Cal.Rptr.2d 756, 927 P.2d 1260] [existence of a duty is a question of law for the court].) Accordingly, no duty element is included in this instruction.

Sources and Authority

“As with an action asserted under a strict liability theory, under a negligence theory the plaintiff must prove a defect caused injury. However, ‘[u]nder a negligence theory, plaintiff must also prove “an additional element, namely, that the defect in the product was due to negligence of the defendant.” ’ ” (Chavez v. Glock, Inc. (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 1283, 1304–1305 [144 Cal.Rptr.3d 326], internal citation omitted.)

“No valid reason appears to require a plaintiff to elect whether to proceed on the theory of strict liability in tort or on the theory of negligence. … Nor does it appear that instructions on the two theories will be confusing to the jury. There is nothing inconsistent in instructions on the two theories and to a large extent the two theories parallel and supplement each other.” (Jiminez v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (1971) 4 Cal.3d 379, 387 [93 Cal.Rptr. 769, 482 P.2d 681].)

“The courts of this state are committed to the doctrine that the duty of care exists in the absence of privity of contract not only where the article manufactured is inherently dangerous but also where it is reasonably certain, if negligently manufactured or constructed, to place life and limb in peril.” (Sheward v. Virtue (1942) 20 Cal.2d 410, 412 [126 P.2d 345], internal citations omitted.)

Manufacturers or other suppliers of goods and buyers or users have a “special relationship” giving rise to an affirmative duty to assist or protect. (6 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed. 2005) §§ 1038–1042, 1048, 1049.)

Restatement Second of Torts, section 388, comment (c), provides: “These rules … apply to sellers, lessors, donors, or lenders, irrespective of whether the chattel is made by them or by a third person. They apply to all kinds of bailors. … They also apply to one who undertakes the repair of a chattel and who delivers it back with knowledge that it is defective because of the work which he is employed to do upon it.”

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1594
California Products Liability Actions, Ch. 2, Liability for Defective Products, § 2.20 (Matthew Bender)
40 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 460, Products Liability, § 460.32 (Matthew Bender)
19 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 190, Products Liability, § 190.190 et seq. (Matthew Bender)