CACI 900 Introductory Instruction

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

900 Introductory Instruction

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was harmed by [name of defendant]’s negligence while [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] was a passenger on [name of defendant]’s [insert type of carrier, e.g., train].

[In this case, [name of defendant] was a common carrier at the time of the incident. A common carrier provides transportation to the general public.]


[[Name of plaintiff] also claims that [name of defendant] was a common carrier at the time of the incident.]

Directions for Use

Give either one of the bracketed sentences, depending on whether the defendant’s status as a common carrier is contested or not.

This instruction is intended as an introductory instruction to frame the issues. CACI No. 400, Negligence—Essential Factual Elements, would still be given to set forth the elements that plaintiff has to prove in order to recover (i.e., negligence, harm, and causation).

Sources and Authority

“Common Carrier” Defined. Civil Code section 2168.

“Carriage” Defined. Civil Code section 2085.

“[A] common carrier within the meaning of Civil Code section 2168 is any entity which holds itself out to the public generally and indifferently to transport goods or persons from place to place for profit.” (Squaw Valley Ski Corporation v. Superior Court (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 1499, 1508 [3 Cal.Rptr.2d 897].)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1055–1064
2 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 23, Carriers, § 23.01 (Matthew Bender)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 109, Carriers, § 109.32 et seq. (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 28:1 (Thomson Reuters)