CACI No. 3903K. Loss or Destruction of Personal Property (Economic Damage)
Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)Download PDF
3903K.Loss or Destruction of Personal Property (Economic
[Insert number, e.g., “11.”] The [loss/destruction] of [name of plaintiff]’s
[item of personal property].
To recover damages for the [loss/destruction], [name of plaintiff] must
prove the fair market value of the [item of personal property] just before
the harm occurred.
“Fair market value” is the highest price that a willing buyer would have
paid to a willing seller, assuming:
1. That there is no pressure on either one to buy or sell; and
2. That both buyer and seller have reasonable knowledge of all
relevant facts about the condition and quality of the [item of
New September 2003; Revised November 2019
Directions for Use
The definition of “fair market value” has been adapted from Treasury regulations.
(See 26 C.F.R. § 20.2031-1(b); United States v. Cartwright (1973) 411 U.S. 546,
550 [93 S.Ct. 1713, 36 L.Ed.2d 528]; see also CACI No. 3501, “Fair Market
Value” Explained; Code Civ. Proc., § 1263.320 [definition for eminent domain].)
Sources and Authority
• “ ‘As a general rule the measure of damage for the loss or destruction of
personal property is the value of the property at the time of such loss or
destruction.’ ” (Hand Electronics, Inc. v. Snowline Joint Unified School Dist.
(1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 862, 870 [26 Cal.Rptr.2d 446], internal citation omitted.)
• “It is well established that under [Civil Code] section 3333, the measure of
damages for the loss or destruction of personal property is generally determined
by the value of the property at the time of such loss or destruction.” (Pelletier v.
Eisenberg (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d 558, 567 [223 Cal.Rptr. 84].)
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1904
California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Vehicles & Other Personal Property, § 13.6
4 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 52, Medical Expenses and Economic Loss,
§ 52.32 (Matthew Bender)
15 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 177, Damages (Matthew Bender)
6 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 64, Damages: Tort (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 5:17 (Thomson Reuters)