CACI 419 Presumption of Negligence per se (Causation Only at Issue)

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

419 Presumption of Negligence per se (Causation Only at Issue)

[Insert citation to statute, regulation, or ordinance] states:

A violation of this law has been established and is not an issue for you to decide.

[However, you must decide whether the violation was excused. If it was not excused, then you] [You] must decide whether the violation was a substantial factor in harming [name of plaintiff].

If you decide that the violation was a substantial factor, then you must find that [name of plaintiff/defendant] was negligent.

Directions for Use

The California Law Revision Commission comment on Evidence Code section 669 states that the trier of fact usually decides the question of whether the violation occurred. However, “if a party admits the violation or if the evidence of the violation is undisputed, it is appropriate for the judge to instruct the jury that a violation of the statute, ordinance, or regulation has been established as a matter of law.” In such cases, the jury would decide causation and, if applicable, the existence of any justification or excuse. For an instruction on excuse, see CACI No. 420, Negligence per se: Rebuttal of the Presumption of Negligence—Violation Excused. See also Sources and Authority to CACI No. 418, Presumption of Negligence per se.

Sources and Authority

Presumption of Negligence per se. Evidence Code section 669(a).

“Under the doctrine of negligence per se, the plaintiff ‘borrows’ statutes to prove duty of care and standard of care. [Citation.] The plaintiff still has the burden of proving causation.” (David v. Hernandez (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 578, 584 [172 Cal.Rptr.3d 204].)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1002–1028
California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) §§ 1.28–1.31
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 3, Proof of Negligence, § 3.10 (Matthew Bender)
4 California Trial Guide, Unit 90, Closing Argument, § 90.89 (Matthew Bender)
33 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 380, Negligence, § 380.110 (Matthew Bender)
16 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 165, Negligence, §§ 165.70, 165.80 (Matthew Bender)