California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

1009D. Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Conditions—Defective Equipment

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [he/she] was harmed by an unsafe condition while employed by [name of plaintiff’s employer] and working on [name of defendant]’s property. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of defendant] [owned/leased/occupied/controlled] the property;

2. That [name of defendant] negligently provided unsafe equipment that contributed to [name of plaintiff]’s injuries;

3. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and

4. That [name of defendant]’s conduct was a substantial factor in causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.

Derived from CACI No. 1009B April 2009; Revised December 2011

Directions for Use

This instruction is for use if a dangerous condition on property causes injury to an employee of an independent contractor hired to perform work on the property. The basis of liability is that the defendant provided defective equipment. For an instruction for injuries to others due to a concealed condition, see CACI No. 1003, Unsafe Conditions. For an instruction for injuries based on unsafe concealed conditions not discoverable by the plaintiff’s employer, see CACI No. 1009A, Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Concealed Conditions. For an instruction for injuries based on the property owner’s retained control over the property, see CACI No. 1009B, Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Conditions—Retained Control.

See also the Vicarious Responsibility Series, CACI No. 3700 et seq., for instructions on the liability of a hirer for the acts of an independent contractor.

Sources and Authority

  • “[W]hen a hirer of an independent contractor, by negligently furnishing unsafe equipment to the contractor, affirmatively contributes to the injury of an employee of the contractor, the hirer should be liable to the employee for the consequences of the hirer’s own negligence.” (Elsner v. Uveges (2004) 34 Cal.4th 915, 937 [22 Cal.Rptr.3d 530, 102 P.3d 915].)
  • “ ‘[W]here the hiring party actively contributes to the injury by supplying defective equipment, it is the hiring party’s own negligence that renders it liable, not that of the contractor.’ ” (McKown v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 219, 225 [115 Cal.Rptr.2d 868, 38 P.3d 1094], internal citation omitted.)

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 1117

1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 15, General Premises Liability, § 15.08 (Matthew Bender)

11 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 381, Tort Liability of Property Owners, § 381.23 (Matthew Bender)

36 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 421, Premises Liability, § 421.15 (Matthew Bender)

17 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 178, Premises Liability, § 178.24 (Matthew Bender)