California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

2902. Negligence - Assignment of Employees

[Name of defendant] was negligent if

[it assigned [name of plaintiff/decedent] to a task that it knew or should have known [he/she] was not medically fit to perform.]

[it failed to assign a sufficient number of employees to safely perform the task that [name of plaintiff/decedent] was assigned to at the time of the incident.]

Directions for Use

Read only the alternative that applies to the facts of the case.

Sources and Authority

"The court correctly instructed the jury as to defendant's liability for assigning an employee to a job for which he is medically unfit. In this regard the jury was told that 'Under the Federal Employers' Liability Act, the word "injury" may include sickness, and it is negligence for a railroad company to assign a sick employee, of whose illness it knew or should have known, to tasks for which he is, by reason of his condition, unfitted, and the employee may recover damages from the railroad if such assignment plays any part in proximately worsening or aggravating such condition.' " (Waller v. Southern Pacific Co. (1967) 66 Cal.2d 201, 214 [57 Cal.Rptr. 353, 424 P.2d 937].)

It is not necessary to include as an element that the defendant must have "forced" the plaintiff to perform the injurious task. (Waller, supra, 66 Cal.2d at p. 214.)

"The employer is under the nondelegable obligation of providing sufficient help for the particular task." (Southern Ry. Co. v. Welch (6th Cir. 1957) 247 F.2d 340, 341, internal citation omitted.)

"As a corollary to this duty to maintain safe working conditions, the carrier is required to provide its employee with sufficient help in the performance of the work assigned to him. Where the failure to provide sufficient help proximately causes injury to the employee, the carrier is liable for negligence under the provisions of the FELA." (Yawn v.

Southern Ry. Co. (5th Cir. 1979) 591 F.2d 312, 315, internal citations omitted.)

(New September 2003)