California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

1220. Negligence—Essential Factual Elements

[Name of plaintiff] [also] claims that [he/she] was harmed by [name of defendant]’s negligence and that [he/she/it] should be held responsible for that harm. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of defendant] [designed/manufactured/supplied/ installed/inspected/repaired/rented] the [product];

2. That [name of defendant] was negligent in [designing/ manufacturing/supplying/installing/inspecting/repairing/renting] the [product];

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

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

New September 2003

Sources and Authority

  • “No valid reason appears to require a plaintiff to elect whether to proceed on the theory of strict liability in tort or on the theory of negligence… Nor does it appear that instructions on the two theories will be confusing to the jury. There is nothing inconsistent in instructions on the two theories and to a large extent the two theories parallel and supplement each other.” (Jiminez v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (1971) 4 Cal.3d 379, 387 [93 Cal.Rptr. 769, 482 P.2d 681].)
  • “The courts of this state are committed to the doctrine that the duty of care exists in the absence of privity of contract not only where the article manufactured is inherently dangerous but also where it is reasonably certain, if negligently manufactured or constructed, to place life and limb in peril.” (Sheward v. Virtue (1942) 20 Cal.2d 410, 412 [126 P.2d 345], internal citations omitted.)
  • Manufacturers or other suppliers of goods and buyers or users have a “special relationship” giving rise to an affirmative duty to assist or protect. (6 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed. 2005) §§ 1038—1042, 1048, 1049.)
  • Restatement Second of Torts, section 388, comment (c), provides: “These rules . . . apply to sellers, lessors, donors, or lenders, irrespective of whether the chattel is made by them or by a third person. They apply to all kinds of bailors… They also apply to one who undertakes the repair of a chattel and who delivers it back with knowledge that it is defective because of the work which he is employed to do upon it.”

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 1431

California Products Liability Actions, Ch. 2, Liability for Defective Products, § 2.20 (Matthew Bender)

40 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 460, Products Liability, § 460.32 (Matthew Bender)

19 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 190, Products Liability (Matthew Bender)