# CACI No. 3904B. Use of Present-Value Tables

## Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2024 edition)

3904B.Use of Present-Value Tables
[For Table A:]
[Use Worksheet A and Table A to compute the present value of [specify
future damages that can be expressed as a regular dollar amount over a
determinable period of time, e.g., lost future income or the cost of permanent
medical care].
1. Determine the amount of [name of plaintiff]’s future loss for [e.g.,
lost income] each year. Enter this amount into Worksheet A, Step
1.
2. Determine the number of years that this loss will continue. Enter
this amount into Worksheet A, Step 2.
3. Select the interest rate that you decide [based on the expert
testimony that you have heard] represents the most likely rate of
return on money invested today over that period of years. Enter
this amount into Worksheet A, Step 3.
4. Select the appropriate Present Value Factor from Table A. To
locate this factor, use the Number of Years from Step 2 on the
worksheet and the Interest Rate from Step 3 on the worksheet
and find the number that is the intersection of the Interest Rate
column and Number of Years row. (For example, if the number
of years is 15 and the interest rate is 10 percent, the
corresponding Present Value Factor is 7.61.) Enter the factor into
Worksheet A, Step 4.
5. Multiply the amount of [name of plaintiff]’s annual future loss
from Step 1 by the factor from Step 4. This is the present value
of [name of plaintiff]’s total future loss for [e.g., lost income]. Enter
this amount into Worksheet A, Step 5.
WORKSHEET A
Step 1: Repeating identical annual
dollar amount of future loss:\$
Step 2: Number of years that this
loss will continue:
Step 3: Interest rate that represents
a reasonable rate of return
on money invested today
over that period of years: %
Step 4: Present Value Factor from
Table A:
866
Step 5: Amount from Step 1 times
Factor from Step 4: \$
Enter the amount from Step 5 on your verdict form as [name of
plaintiff]’s total future economic loss for [e.g., lost income].]
[For Table B:]
[Use Worksheet B and Table B to compute the present value of [specify
future damages that cannot be expressed as a repeating identical dollar
amount over a determinable period of time, e.g., future surgeries].
1. Determine the future years in which a future loss will occur. In
Column A, starting with the current year, enter each year
through the last year that you determined a future loss will occur.
2. Determine the amount of [name of plaintiff]’s future loss for [e.g.,
future surgeries] for each year that you determine the loss will
occur. Enter these future losses in Column B on the worksheet.
Enter \$0 if no future loss occurs in a given year.
3. Select the interest rate that you decide [based on the expert
testimony that you have heard] represents a reasonable rate of
return on money invested today over the number of years
determined in Step 2. Enter this rate in Column C on the
worksheet for each year that future-loss amounts are entered in
Column B.
4. Select the appropriate Present Value Factor from Table B for
each year for which you have determined that a loss will occur.
To locate this factor, use the Number of Years from Column A
on the worksheet and the Interest Rate in Column C on the
worksheet and find the number that is the intersection of the
Interest Rate column and Number of Years row from the table.
(For example, for year 15, if the interest rate is 10 percent, the
corresponding Present Value Factor is 0.239.) Enter the
appropriate Present Value Factors in Column D. For the current
year, the Present Value Factor is 1.000. It is not necessary to
select an interest rate for the current year in Step 3.
5. Multiply the amount in Column B by the factor in Column D for
each year for which you determined that a loss will occur and
enter these amounts in Column E.
6. Add all of the entries in Column E and enter this sum into Total
Present Value of Future Loss.
Enter the amount from Step 6 on your verdict form as [name of
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plaintiff]’s total future economic loss for [e.g., future surgeries].]
WORKSHEET B
A B C D E
Year Dollar Amount
of Future Loss
Each Year
Interest
Rate Present Value
Factor Present
Value of
Future Loss
Current year
(20___) \$ Not
applicable 1.000 \$
Year 1 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 2 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 3 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 4 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 5 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 6 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 7 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 8 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 9 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 10 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 11 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 12 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 13 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 14 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 15 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 16 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 17 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 18 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 19 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 20 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 21 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 22 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 23 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 24 (20___) \$ % \$
Year 25 (20___) \$ % \$
Total Present Value of Future Loss (add all amounts in Column
E) \$
CACI No. 3904B DAMAGES
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New December 2010
Directions for Use
Give this instruction if one of the accompanying tables is to be given to the jury.
Also give CACI No. 359, Present Cash Value of Future Damages, in a contract
action, or CACI No. 3904A, Present Cash Value, in a tort action.
Use Worksheet A and Table A if future economic loss will occur over multiple years
and the amount of the loss will be the same every year. For example, lost future
income may be capable of being expressed in a fixed annual dollar figure. Similarly,
the cost of future medical care may be reduced to present value under Table A if it
will be a regular amount over a determinable period of time.
Use Worksheet B and Table B in all other instances of future economic loss. In
some cases, it may be necessary to give the jury both worksheets and tables if there
are categories of both regular recurring future economic loss and irregular or
varying loss.
The interest rate to be used in the tables must be established by stipulation or by the
evidence. Expert testimony will usually be required to accurately establish present
values for future economic losses. It would appear that because reduction to present
value benefits the defendant, the defendant bears the burden of proof on the discount
rate. (See Wilson v. Gilbert (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 607, 613-614 [102 Cal.Rptr. 31]
[no error to refuse instruction on reduction to present value when defendant
presented no evidence].)
Tables should not be used for future noneconomic damages. (See Salgado v. County
of L.A. (1998) 19 Cal.4th 629, 646-647 [80 Cal.Rptr.2d 46, 967 P.2d 585]; CACI
No. 3904A, Present Cash Value.)
Sources and Authority
“Neither party introduced any evidence of compounding or discounting factors,
including how to calculate an appropriate rate of return throughout the relevant
years. Under such circumstances, the ‘jury would have been put to sheer
speculation in determining . . . “the present sum of money which . . . will pay
to the plaintiff . . . the equivalent of his [future economic] loss . . . .”
(Schiernbeck v. Haight (1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 869, 877 [9 Cal.Rptr.2d 716],
internal citations omitted.)
“[W]e cannot presume that the jurors were unable to make the various
computations without the proffered aid of court and counsel after first reaching
necessary agreement on the various determinables comprising the formula.
Further, defendant’s counsel took a calculated risk in this regard; he produced
neither statistician nor economist to aid his cause in this regard. Too, we have
found no California cases which hold that use of the present table is
indispensable to a proper award of damages for loss of future earning capacity
. . . .” (Howard v. Global Marine, Inc. (1972) 28 Cal.App.3d 809, 816 [105
Cal.Rptr. 50].)
“The trial court was also correct in refusing the proposed instruction, on its
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merits, for lack of evidence which would have supported a jury finding of the
‘present cash value’ of any sum assessed as the value of [plaintiff]’s future
earning capacity . . . . The computation of such ‘present cash value’ is ‘difficult
and confusing . . . to present to a jury’ and, in the pertinent cases, the
computation was apparently reached by the respective juries upon the basis of
real evidence. Absent such evidence in the present case (and there was none),
this jury would have been put to sheer speculation in determining (as the
proposed instruction would have had it do) ‘the present sum of money which,
together with interest thereon when invested so as to yield the highest rate of
interest consistent with reasonable security, will pay to the plaintiff . . . the
equivalent of his loss of earning capacity . . . in the future . . . .’ The
instruction would have required the jury to reach this result without the benefit
of evidence or advice as to the complicated factors of compounding and
discounting which the instruction necessarily involved. There are ‘present cash
value’ tables which might have assisted the jury in this regard, if judicially
noticed for instruction purposes, but the proposed instruction included no
reference to them. For these reasons, and on the instruction’s merits, the trial
court did not err in refusing to give it.” (Wilson, supra, 25 Cal.App.3d at pp.
613-614, internal citations omitted.)
“Anticipated future increases of medical costs may be presented to the jury.
Expert testimony may be used with regard to a ‘subject that is sufficiently
beyond common experience that the opinion of an expert would assist the trier
of fact; . . .’ Future medical expenses are such a subject. Testimony by actuaries
is frequently used to show discount rates and the present value of future benefits.
[¶] The expert testimony was substantial evidence supporting the portion of the
award relating to the future cost of attendant care. The substantial evidence test
is applied in view of the entire record; other than a vigorous cross-examination
of plaintiffs’ expert, appellants presented no evidence on the cost of attendant
care. The elaborate economic arguments presented in the briefs of appellants and
amicus curiae might better have been presented to the jury in opposition to
respondents’ expert testimony.” (Niles v. City of San Rafael (1974) 42
Cal.App.3d 230, 243 [116 Cal.Rptr. 733], internal citations omitted.)
“Appellants claim that the 5 percent discount rate presented by the expert was
too low. A discount rate, similar to an interest rate, is used to determine the
present value of future expenses. The expert, in arriving at a 5 percent rate, used
commercial investment studies pertaining to the riskiness of corporate bonds,
charts compiled by the Federal Reserve System showing interest yields on
various bonds since 1920, and tables published by the United States Savings and
Loan League showing interest rates on savings accounts since 1929. He took
into account the need for reasonable security of investment over the period of
[plaintiff]’s life. All of this was apparently within the competence of the expert.”
(Niles, supra, 42 Cal.App.3d at pp. 243-244.)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1719
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California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Bodily Injury, § 1.96
4 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 52, Medical Expenses and Economic Loss,
§§ 52.21, 52.22 (Matthew Bender)
15 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 177, Damages, § 177.46
(Matthew Bender)
6 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 64, Damages: Tort, § 64.40 et seq.
(Matthew Bender)
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