California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

VF-4601. Protected Disclosure by State Employee—California Whistleblower Protection Act—Affirmative Defense—Same Decision (Gov. Code, § 8547.8(c))

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VF-4601.Protected Disclosure by State Employee—California
Whistleblower Protection Act—Affirmative Defense—Same
Decision (Gov. Code, § 8547.8(c))
We answer the questions submitted to us as follows:
1. Did [name of plaintiff] [specify protected disclosure, e.g., report
waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, threats to public
health, bribery, misuse of government property]?
1. Yes No
1. If your answer to question 1 is yes, then answer question 2. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
2. Did [name of plaintiff]’s communication [disclose/ [or]
demonstrate an intention to disclose] evidence of [an improper
governmental activity/ [or] a condition that could significantly
threaten the health or safety of employees or the public]?
2. Yes No
2. If your answer to question 2 is yes, then answer question 3. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
3. Did [name of plaintiff] make this communication in good faith
[for the purpose of remediating the health or safety condition]?
3. Yes No
3. If your answer to question 3 is yes, then answer question 4. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
4. Did [name of defendant] [discharge/specify other adverse action]
[name of plaintiff]?
4. Yes No
4. If your answer to question 4 is yes, then answer question 5. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
5. Was [name of plaintiff]’s communication a contributing factor in
[name of defendant]’s decision to [discharge/other adverse action]
[him/her]?
5. Yes No
5. If your answer to question 5 is yes, then answer question 6. If
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you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
6. Was [name of defendant]’s conduct a substantial factor in causing
harm to [name of plaintiff]?
6. Yes No
6. If your answer to question 6 is yes, then answer question 7. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
7. Would [name of defendant] have [discharged/specify other adverse
action] [name of plaintiff] anyway at that time, for legitimate,
independent reasons?
7. Yes No
7. If your answer to question 7 is no, then answer question 8. If
you answered yes, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
8. What are [name of plaintiff]’s damages?
[a. Past economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[medical expenses $ ]
[other past economic loss $ ]
[a. Total Past Economic Damages: $ ]
[b. Future economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[medical expenses $ ]
[other future economic loss $ ]
[b. Total Future Economic Damages: $ ]
[c. Past noneconomic loss, including [physical
pain/mental suffering:] $ ]
[d. Future noneconomic loss, including [physical
pain/mental suffering:] $ ]
[d. TOTAL $
WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION VF-4601
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Signed: Presiding Juror
Dated:
After [this verdict form has/all verdict forms have] been signed, notify
the [clerk/bailiff/court attendant] that you are ready to present your
verdict in the courtroom.
New December 2015; Revised December 2016
Directions for Use
This verdict form is based on CACI No. 4601, Protected Disclosure by State
Employee—California Whistleblower Protection Act—Essential Factual Elements,
and CACI No. 4602, Affırmative Defense—Same Decision.
The special verdict forms in this section are intended only as models. They may
need to be modified depending on the facts of the case.
If a health or safety violation is presented in question 2, include the bracketed
language at the end of question 3.
Questions 4 and 5 may be modified to allege constructive discharge. Questions 2
through 5 of CACI No. VF-2408, Constructive Discharge in Violation of Public
Policy—Plaintiff Required to Endure Intolerable Conditions for Improper Purpose
That Violates Public Policy, should be adapted and included in such a case.
Question 7 presents the employer’s affirmative defense that it would have made the
same decision anyway for legitimate reasons even though the jury finds that
retaliation for whistleblowing was also a contributing factor for the adverse action.
Question 7 must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. (See Gov. Code,
§ 8547.8(e).)
If specificity is not required, users do not have to itemize all the damages listed in
question 8 and do not have to categorize “economic” and “noneconomic” damages,
especially if it is not a Proposition 51 case. The breakdown of damages is optional
depending on the circumstances.
If there are multiple causes of action, users may wish to combine the individual
forms into one form. If different damages are recoverable on different causes of
action, replace the damages tables in all of the verdict forms with CACI No. VF-
3920, Damages on Multiple Legal Theories.
If the jury is being given the discretion under Civil Code section 3288 to award
prejudgment interest (see Bullis v. Security Pac. Nat’l Bank (1978) 21 Cal.3d 801,
814 [148 Cal.Rptr. 22, 582 P.2d 109]), give CACI No. 3935, Prejudgment Interest.
This verdict form may need to be augmented for the jury to make any factual
findings that are required in order to calculate the amount of prejudgment interest.
VF-4601 WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
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