California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

1224. Negligence—Negligence for Product Rental/Standard of Care

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1224.Negligence—Negligence for Product Rental/Standard of
Care
[A person who rents products to others for money is negligent if he or
she fails to use reasonable care to:
1. Inspect the products for defects;
2. Make them safe for their intended use; and
3. Adequately warn of any known dangers.]
[or]
[A person who lends products to others without charge only is required
to use reasonable care to warn of known defects.]
New September 2003
Directions for Use
Use this instruction in conjunction with CACI No. 1220, Negligence—Essential
Factual Elements, and instead of CACI No. 1221, Negligence—Basic Standard of
Care, in cases involving rentals.
If the case involves a product lent gratuitously for the mutual benefit of the parties
(e.g., to a prospective purchaser), the first paragraph is applicable and the
instruction needs to be modified.
In a purely gratuitous lending case, if the object is a “dangerous instrumentality”
there may be a duty to conduct a reasonable inspection before lending. (See
Tierstein v. Licht (1959) 174 Cal.App.2d 835, 842 [345 P.2d 341].)
Sources and Authority
• Duties of Lessor of Personal Property. Civil Code section 1955.
If a bailment is for hire, or provides a mutual benefit, the bailor has a duty to
the bailee and to third persons to (1) warn of actually known defects and (2) to
use reasonable care to make an examination of the good before lending it “in
order to make certain that it [is] fit for the use known to be intended.”
(Tierstein, supra, 174 Cal.App.2d at pp. 840–841.)
• A bailment, otherwise gratuitous, where made to induce a purchase, has been
considered sufficient to give rise to the same duty of reasonable care on the part
of the bailor as an ordinary bailment for hire. This is regarded as a bailment for
mutual benefit. (Tierstein, supra, 174 Cal.App.2d at p. 842.)
• Under either a negligence or an implied warranty theory, “the essential inquiry
. . . is whether [the defendants] made such inspection of their equipment as
was necessary to discharge their duty of reasonable care.” (McNeal v.
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Greenberg (1953) 40 Cal.2d 740, 742 [255 P.2d 810].) The bailor is not an
insurer or guarantor. (Tierstein, supra, 174 Cal.App.2d at p. 841.)
• Restatement Second of Torts, section 408, provides: “One who leases a chattel
as safe for immediate use is subject to liability to those whom he should expect
to use the chattel, or to be endangered by its probable use, for physical harm
caused by its use in a manner for which, and by a person for whose use, it is
leased, if the lessor fails to exercise reasonable care to make it safe for such use
or to disclose its actual condition to those who may be expected to use it.”
• This Restatement section was cited with approval in Rae v. California
Equipment Co. (1939) 12 Cal.2d 563, 569 [86 P.2d 352].
• “The general rule is that the only duty which a gratuitous bailor owes either to
the bailee or to third persons is to warn them of actually known defects which
render the chattel dangerous for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used; he
has no liability for injuries caused by defects in the subject matter of the
bailment of which he was not aware.” (Tierstein, supra, 174 Cal.App.2d at p.
841.)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, § 1506
2Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 20, Motor Vehicles, § 20.053 (Matthew Bender)
44 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 413, Personal Property Leases,
§ 413.34 (Matthew Bender)
1225–1229. Reserved for Future Use
PRODUCTS LIABILITY CACI No. 1224
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