CACI No. 3901. Introduction to Tort Damages - Liability Established

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3901.Introduction to Tort Damages - Liability Established
If you decide that [name of plaintiff] was harmed and that [name of
defendant]’s [insert description of cause of action, e.g., “negligence”] was a
substantial factor in causing the harm, you also must decide how much
money will reasonably compensate [name of plaintiff] for the harm. This
compensation is called “damages.”
The amount of damages must include an award for each item of harm
that was caused by [name of defendant]’s wrongful conduct, even if the
particular harm could not have been anticipated.
[Name of plaintiff] does not have to prove the exact amount of damages
that will provide reasonable compensation for the harm. However, you
must not speculate or guess in awarding damages.
[The following are the specific items of damages claimed by [name of
[Insert applicable instructions on items of damage.]
New September 2003; Revised October 2004, June 2005
Directions for Use
This instruction is intended for cases in which the defendant “admits” liability, but
contests causation and damages. See CACI No. 424, Negligence Not
Contested - Essential Factual Elements.
Read last bracketed sentence and insert instructions on items of damage here only if
CACI No. 3902, Economic and Noneconomic Damages, is not being read. If CACI
No. 3902 is not used, this instruction should be followed by applicable instructions
(see CACI Nos. 3903A through 3903N, and CACI No. 3905A) concerning the
items of damage claimed by the plaintiff. These instructions should be inserted into
this instruction as sequentially numbered items.
Read CACI No. 430, Causation: Substantial Factor, as the definition of “substantial
Sources and Authority
See the Sources and Authority to CACI No. 3900, Introduction to Tort
Damages - Liability Contested.
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1715-1719,
California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Bodily Injury, §§ 1.2-1.6
4 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 50, Damages, § 50.02 (Matthew Bender)
15 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 177, Damages, § 177.41
(Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 5:1 (Thomson Reuters)

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