California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

419. Presumption of Negligence per se (Causation Only at Issue)

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419.Presumption of Negligence per se (Causation Only at Issue)
[Insert citation to statute, regulation, or ordinance] states:
A violation of this law has been established and is not an issue for you
to decide.
[However, you must decide whether the violation was excused. If it was
not excused, then you] [You] must decide whether the violation was a
substantial factor in harming [name of plaintiff].
If you decide that the violation was a substantial factor, then you must
find that [name of plaintiff/defendant] was negligent.
New September 2003; Revised December 2011
Directions for Use
The California Law Revision Commission comment on Evidence Code section 669
states that the trier of fact usually decides the question of whether the violation
occurred. However, “if a party admits the violation or if the evidence of the
violation is undisputed, it is appropriate for the judge to instruct the jury that a
violation of the statute, ordinance, or regulation has been established as a matter of
law.” In such cases, the jury would decide causation and, if applicable, the
existence of any justification or excuse. For an instruction on excuse, see CACI
No. 420, Negligence per se: Rebuttal of the Presumption of Negligence (Violation
Excused). See also Sources and Authority to CACI No. 418, Presumption of
Negligence per se.
Sources and Authority
• Presumption of Negligence per se. Evidence Code section 669(a).
“Under the doctrine of negligence per se, the plaintiff ‘borrows’ statutes to
prove duty of care and standard of care. [Citation.] The plaintiff still has the
burden of proving causation.” (David v. Hernandez (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th
578, 584 [172 Cal.Rptr.3d 204].)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 871–896
California Tort Guide (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) §§ 1.28–1.31
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 3, Proof of Negligence, § 3.10 (Matthew
4 California Trial Guide, Unit 90, Closing Argument, § 90.89 (Matthew Bender)
33 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 380, Negligence, § 380.110
(Matthew Bender)
16 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 165, Negligence, §§ 165.70, 165.80
(Matthew Bender)