CACI No. 3927. Aggravation of Preexisting Condition or Disability

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3927.Aggravation of Preexisting Condition or Disability
[Name of plaintiff] is not entitled to damages for any physical or
emotional condition that [he/she/nonbinary pronoun] had before [name of
defendant]’s conduct occurred. However, if [name of plaintiff] had a
physical or emotional condition that was made worse by [name of
defendant]’s wrongful conduct, you must award damages that will
reasonably and fairly compensate [him/her/nonbinary pronoun] for the
effect on that condition.
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
“[A] tortfeasor may be held liable in an action for damages where the effect of
his negligence is to aggravate a preexisting condition or disease. Plaintiff may
recover to the full extent that his condition has worsened as a result of
defendant’s tortious act.” (Sanchez v. Kern Emergency Medical Transportation
Corp. (2017) 8 Cal.App.5th 146, 168 [213 Cal.Rptr.3d 830].)
“It is by no means self-evident that an act which precipitates a flare-up of a
preexisting condition should be considered a ‘cause which, in natural and
continuous sequence, produces the injury.’ Thus, general instructions on
proximate cause were not sufficient to inform the jury on the more specific issue
of aggravation of preexisting conditions.” (Ng v. Hudson (1977) 75 Cal.App.3d
250, 256 [142 Cal.Rptr. 69], internal citations omitted, overruled on another
ground in Soule v. General Motors Corp. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 548, 574 [34
Cal.Rptr.2d 607, 882 P.2d 298].)
“[An instruction on preexisting condition] is proper only where the injured is the
claimant seeking compensation for his injuries. That is not the case here in a
wrongful death action.” (Vecchione v. Carlin (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 351, 358
[168 Cal.Rptr. 571].)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 1855
California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Bodily Injury, § 1.86
4 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 51, Pain and Suffering, § 51.23[3] (Matthew
15 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 177, Damages, § 177.45
(Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 5:11 (Thomson Reuters)

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