California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

3115. "Oppression" Explained

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3115.“Oppression” Explained
“Oppression” means that [[name of individual defendant]’s/[name of
employer defendant]’s employee’s] conduct was despicable and subjected
[name of plaintiff/decedent] to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing
disregard of [his/her] rights.
“Despicable conduct” is conduct that is so vile, base, or contemptible
that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people.
New September 2003; Revised October 2008
Directions for Use
If the individual responsible for the elder abuse is a defendant in the case, use
“[name of individual defendant]’s.” If only the individual’s employer is a defendant,
use “[name of employer defendant]’s employee’s.”
Sources and Authority
• “Oppression” for Punitive Damages. Civil Code section 3294(c)(2).
• “Used in its ordinary sense, the adjective ‘despicable’ is a powerful term that
refers to circumstances that are ‘base,’ ‘vile,’ or ‘contemptible.’ As amended to
include this word, the statute plainly indicates that absent an intent to injure the
plaintiff, ‘malice’ requires more than a ‘willful and conscious’ disregard of the
plaintiffs’ interests. The additional component of ‘despicable conduct’ must be
found.” (College Hospital, Inc. v. Superior Court (1994) 8 Cal.4th 704, 725 [34
Cal.Rptr.2d 898, 882 P.2d 894], internal citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
1 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 5, Abuse of Minors and Elderly,
§ 5.33[1] (Matthew Bender)
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