California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

VF-1202. Strict Products Liability—Design Defect—Risk- Benefit Test

New September 2003; Revised April 2007, April 2009, December 2010, June 2011

Directions for Use

The special verdict forms in this section are intended only as models. They may need to be modified depending on the facts of the case.

This verdict form is based on CACI No. 1204, Strict Liability—Design Defect—Risk-Benefit Test—Essential Factual Elements—Shifting Burden of Proof. If product misuse or modification is alleged as a complete defense (see CACI No. 1245, Affırmative Defense—Product Misuse or Modification), questions 2 and 3 of CACI No. VF-1201, Strict Products Liability—Design Defect—Consumer Expectation Test—Affırmative Defense—Misuse or Modification, may be included after question 1. If the comparative fault or negligence of the plaintiff or of third persons is at issue, questions 7 through 9 of CACI No. VF-1200, Strict Products Liability—Manufacturing Defect—Comparative Fault at Issue, may be added at the end.

If specificity is not required, users do not have to itemize all the damages listed in question 4. The breakdown is optional depending on the circumstances.

If there are multiple causes of action, users may wish to combine the individual forms into one form. However, do not combine this verdict form with CACI No. VF-1201, Strict Products Liability—Design Defect—Consumer Expectation Test—Affırmative Defense—Misuse or Modification. The verdict forms must make it clear to the jury that the two tests are alternative theories of liability (Bracisco v. Beech Aircraft Corp. (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 1101, 1106—1107 [206 Cal.Rptr. 431]) and that the burden shifting to the defendant to prove that the benefits outweigh the risks does not apply to the consumer-expectation test. If different damages are recoverable on different causes of action, replace the damages tables in all of the verdict forms with CACI No. VF-3920, Damages on Multiple Legal Theories.

This form may be modified if the jury is being given the discretion under Civil Code section 3288 to award prejudgment interest on specific losses that occurred prior to judgment.