California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

1907. Reliance

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[Name of plaintiff] relied on [name of defendant]’s
[misrepresentation/concealment/false promise] if:
1. The [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise] substantially
influenced [him/her/it] to [insert brief description of the action,
e.g., “buy the house”]; and
2. [He/She/It] would probably not have [e.g., bought the house]
without the [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise].
It is not necessary for a [misrepresentation/concealment/false promise]
to be the only reason for [name of plaintiff]’s conduct.
New September 2003; Revised December 2013
Directions for Use
Give this instruction with one of the fraud causes of action (see CACI Nos.
1900–1903), all of which require actual reliance on the statement or omission at
issue. Reliance must be both actual and reasonable. Give also CACI No. 1908,
Reasonable Reliance.
Sources and Authority
• “It is settled that a plaintiff, to state a cause of action for deceit based on a
misrepresentation, must plead that he or she actually relied on the
misrepresentation.” (Mirkin v. Wasserman (1993) 5 Cal.4th 1082, 1088 [23
Cal.Rptr.2d 101, 858 P.2d 568], internal citations omitted.)
• “Actual reliance occurs when a misrepresentation is ‘ “an immediate cause of [a
plaintiff’s] conduct, which alters his legal relations,” ’ and when, absent such
representation, ‘ “he would not, in all reasonable probability, have entered into
the contract or other transaction.” ’ ‘It is not . . . necessary that [a plaintiff’s]
reliance upon the truth of the fraudulent misrepresentation be the sole or even
the predominant or decisive factor in influencing his conduct. . . . It is enough
that the representation has played a substantial part, and so has been a
substantial factor, in influencing his decision.’ ” (Engalla v. Permanente Medical
Group, Inc. (1997) 15 Cal.4th 951, 976–977 [64 Cal.Rptr.2d 843, 938 P.2d
903], internal citations omitted.)
• “In establishing the reliance element of a cause of action for fraud, it is settled
that the alleged fraud need not be the sole cause of a party’s reliance. Instead,
reliance may be established on the basis of circumstantial evidence showing the
alleged fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment substantially influenced the
party’s choice, even though other influences may have operated as well.”
(Sangster v. Paetkau (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 151, 170 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 66],
internal citations omitted.)
• “[A] presumption, or at least an inference, of reliance arises wherever there is a
showing that a misrepresentation was material. A misrepresentation is judged to
be ‘material’ if ‘a reasonable man would attach importance to its existence or
nonexistence in determining his choice of action in the transaction in question’
and as such, materiality is generally a question of fact unless the ‘fact
misrepresented is so obviously unimportant that the jury could not reasonably
find that a reasonable man would have been influenced by it.’ ” (Engalla, supra,
15 Cal.4th at p. 977.)
• “ ‘It must be shown that the plaintiff actually relied upon the misrepresentation;
i.e., that the representation was “an immediate cause of his conduct which alters
his legal relations,” and that without such representation, “he would not, in all
reasonable probability, have entered into the contract or other transaction.” ’ ”
(Okun v. Morton (1988) 203 Cal.App.3d 805, 828 [250 Cal.Rptr. 220], internal
citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 808–815
3Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 40, Fraud and Deceit and Other Business Torts,
§§ 40.05–40.06 (Matthew Bender)
23 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 269, Fraud and Deceit, § 269.15
et seq. (Matthew Bender)
10 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 105, Fraud and Deceit, § 105.200 et seq.
(Matthew Bender)
2 California Civil Practice: Torts § 22:31 (Thomson Reuters)