CACI 4571 Right to Repair Act—Damages (Civ. Code, § 944)

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

4571 Right to Repair Act—Damages (Civ. Code, § 944)

If [name of plaintiff] proves any construction defects, [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] is entitled to recover only for the following:

a.The reasonable value of repairing the defect(s);

b.The reasonable cost of repairing any damage caused by the repair efforts;

c.The reasonable cost of repairing and correcting any damage resulting from the failure of the home to meet the standards;

d.The reasonable cost of removing and replacing any improper repair made by [name of defendant];

e.Reasonable relocation and storage expenses;

f.Lost business income if the home was used as a principal place of a business licensed to be operated from the home;

g.Reasonable investigative costs for each defect proved;

h.(Specify any other costs or fees recoverable by contract or statute.)

[[Name of plaintiff]’s right to the reasonable value of repairing any defect is limited to the lesser of the cost of repair or the diminution in current value of the home caused by the defect.]

Directions for Use

This instruction sets forth the damages recoverable in an action for construction defects under the Right to Repair Act. (Civ. Code, § 944.) Delete those that the plaintiff is not claiming.

Give the optional last paragraph for any claims involving a detached single-family home. The common-law personal use exception is preserved. (Civ. Code, § 943(b).)

Sources and Authority

Damages Recoverable Under the Right to Repair Act. Civil Code section 944.

“The provisions of chapter 5 make explicit the intended avenues for recouping economic losses, property damages, and personal injury damages. Section 944 defines the universe of damages that are recoverable in an action under the Act. (§ 944 [‘If a claim for damages is made under this title, the homeowner is only entitled to damages for’ a series of specified types of losses].) In turn, section 943 makes an action under the Act the exclusive means of recovery for damages identified in section 944 absent an express exception: ‘Except as provided in this title, no other cause of action for a claim covered by this title or for damages recoverable under Section 944 is allowed.’ (§ 943, subd. (a).) In other words, section 944 identifies what damages may be recovered in an action under the Act, and section 943 establishes that such damages may only be recovered in an action under the Act, absent an express exception.” (McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court (2018) 4 Cal.5th 241, 251 [227 Cal.Rptr.3d 191, 408 P.3d 797].)

“Insofar as section 944 allows recovery only for damages resulting from failure ‘of the home,’ it is clear that ‘home’ is not limited to the structure where people reside, because section 942 states that, ‘[i]n order to make a claim for violation of the standards set forth in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 896), a homeowner need only demonstrate … that the home does not meet the applicable standard … .’ As we have seen section 896 covers a multitude of defects not only in the residence but also in improvements such as driveways, landscaping, and damage to the lot, etc.” (Gillotti v. Stewart (2017) 11 Cal.App.5th 875, 897 [217 Cal.Rptr.3d 860], original italics.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1312
10 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 104, Building Contracts, § 104.43 (Matthew Bender)
40 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 460, Products Liability, § 460.11 (Matthew Bender)
12 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 441, Consumers’ Remedies, § 441.69 (Matthew Bender)