CACI 3115 Oppression Explained

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3115 “Oppression” Explained

“Oppression” means that [[name of individual defendant]’s/[name of employer defendant]’s employee’s] conduct was despicable and subjected [name of plaintiff/decedent] to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing disregard of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] rights.

“Despicable conduct” is conduct that is so vile, base, or contemptible that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people.

Directions for Use

If the individual responsible for the elder abuse is a defendant in the case, use “[name of individual defendant]’s.” If only the individual’s employer is a defendant, use “[name of employer defendant]’s employee’s.”

Sources and Authority

“Oppression” for Punitive Damages. Civil Code section 3294(c)(2).

“Used in its ordinary sense, the adjective ‘despicable’ is a powerful term that refers to circumstances that are ‘base,’ ‘vile,’ or ‘contemptible.’ As amended to include this word, the statute plainly indicates that absent an intent to injure the plaintiff, ‘malice’ requires more than a ‘willful and conscious’ disregard of the plaintiffs’ interests. The additional component of ‘despicable conduct’ must be found.” (College Hospital, Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704, 725 [34 Cal.Rptr.2d 898, 882 P.2d 894], internal citations omitted.)

Secondary Sources

1 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 5, Abuse of Minors and Elderly, § 5.33[1] (Matthew Bender)