CACI 1907 Reliance

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

1907 Reliance

[Name of plaintiff] relied on [name of defendant]’s [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise] if:

1.The [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise] substantially influenced [him/her/nonbinary pronoun/it] to [insert brief description of the action, e.g., “buy the house”]; and

2.[He/She/Nonbinary pronoun/It] would probably not have [e.g., bought the house] without the [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise].

It is not necessary for a [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise] to be the only reason for [name of plaintiff]’s conduct.

Directions for Use

Give this instruction with one of the fraud causes of action (see CACI Nos. 1900–1903), all of which require actual reliance on the statement or omission at issue. Reliance must be both actual and reasonable. Give also CACI No. 1908, Reasonable Reliance.

Sources and Authority

“It is settled that a plaintiff, to state a cause of action for deceit based on a misrepresentation, must plead that he or she actually relied on the misrepresentation.” (Mirkin v. Wasserman (1993) 5 Cal.4th 1082, 1088 [23 Cal.Rptr.2d 101, 858 P.2d 568], internal citations omitted.)

“Actual reliance occurs when a misrepresentation is ‘ “an immediate cause of [a plaintiff’s] conduct, which alters his legal relations,” ’ and when, absent such representation, ‘ “he would not, in all reasonable probability, have entered into the contract or other transaction.” ’ ‘It is not … necessary that [a plaintiff’s] reliance upon the truth of the fraudulent misrepresentation be the sole or even the predominant or decisive factor in influencing his conduct. … It is enough that the representation has played a substantial part, and so has been a substantial factor, in influencing his decision.’ ” (Engalla v. Permanente Medical Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 976–977 [64 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 938 P.2d 903], internal citations omitted.)

“In establishing the reliance element of a cause of action for fraud, it is settled that the alleged fraud need not be the sole cause of a party’s reliance. Instead, reliance may be established on the basis of circumstantial evidence showing the alleged fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment substantially influenced the party’s choice, even though other influences may have operated as well.” (Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151, 170 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 66], internal citations omitted.)

“[A] presumption, or at least an inference, of reliance arises wherever there is a showing that a misrepresentation was material. A misrepresentation is judged to be ‘material’ if ‘a reasonable man would attach importance to its existence or nonexistence in determining his choice of action in the transaction in question’ and as such, materiality is generally a question of fact unless the ‘fact misrepresented is so obviously unimportant that the jury could not reasonably find that a reasonable man would have been influenced by it.’ ” (Engalla, supra, 15 Cal.4th at p. 977.)

“ ‘It must be shown that the plaintiff actually relied upon the misrepresentation; i.e., that the representation was “an immediate cause of his conduct which alters his legal relations,” and that without such representation, “he would not, in all reasonable probability, have entered into the contract or other transaction.” ’ ” (Okun v. Morton (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 805, 828 [250 Cal.Rptr. 220], internal citations omitted.)

Secondary Sources

5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 928–937
3 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 40, Fraud and Deceit and Other Business Torts, §§ 40.05–40.06 (Matthew Bender)
23 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 269, Fraud and Deceit, § 269.15 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
10 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 105, Fraud and Deceit, § 105.200 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 22:31 (Thomson Reuters)