CACI 3933 Damages From Multiple Defendants

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3933 Damages From Multiple Defendants

In this case, [name of plaintiff] seeks damages from more than one defendant. You must determine the liability of each defendant to [name of plaintiff] separately.

If you determine that more than one defendant is liable to [name of plaintiff] for damages, you will be asked to find [name of plaintiff]’s total damages [and the comparative fault of [[name of plaintiff]/each defendant/ [and] other nonparties]].

In deciding on the amount of damages, consider only [name of plaintiff]’s claimed losses. Do not attempt to divide the damages [between/among] the defendants. The allocation of responsibility for payment of damages among multiple defendants is to be done by the court after you reach your verdict.

Directions for Use

Give this instruction in any case involving the joint and several liability of multiple defendants or several liability only for noneconomic damages under Proposition 51. (See Civ. Code, § 1431.2.) It is designed to deter the jury from awarding different damages against each defendant after factoring in the respective culpability of the defendants. Do not give this instruction in a case in which separate tortfeasors have caused separate injuries. (See Carr v. Cove (1973) 33 Cal.App.3d 851, 854 [109 Cal.Rptr. 449].)

If comparative fault is at issue, give the bracketed language in the second paragraph. Comparative fault may involve each defendant, the plaintiff, and other nonparties. “Nonparties” include the universe of tortfeasors who are not present at trial, including defendants who settled before trial and nonjoined alleged tortfeasors. (Dafonte v. Up-Right (1992) 2 Cal.4th 593, 603 [7 Cal.Rptr.2d 238, 828 P.2d 140].) See also CACI No. 406, Apportionment of Responsibility, and CACI No. VF-402, Negligence—Fault of Plaintiff and Others at Issue.

Sources and Authority

Proposition 51. Civil Code section 1431.2(a).

“The pro tanto reduction provision works to prevent settlements from producing double recoveries in the case of a single injury caused by joint tortfeasors. The general theory of compensatory damages bars double recovery for the same wrong. The principal situation is where joint or concurrent tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the same wrong. Only one complete satisfaction is permissible, and, if partial satisfaction is received from one, the liability of others will be correspondingly reduced.” (Carrsupra, 33 Cal.App.3d at p. 854, original italics.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1518
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 11, Conflicts of Law and Preemption, § 11.07 (Matthew Bender)
25 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 300, Indemnity and Contribution, § 300.60 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
11 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 115, Indemnity and Contribution, § 115.130 et seq. (Matthew Bender)