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California Tort Damages

Practical advice on evaluating and proving damages recoverable for a wide variety of personal injuries, and discussion of the kinds of injuries for which damages are and are not recoverable.

Practical advice on evaluating and proving damages recoverable for a wide variety of personal injuries, and discussion of the kinds of injuries for which damages are and are not recoverable.

  • Bodily injury
  • Assault & battery
  • Infliction of emotional distress
  • Wrongful death & survival actions
  • Wrongful life & birth
  • Emotional distress
  • Defamation & invasion of privacy
  • Malicious prosecution & abuse of process
  • False arrest & false imprisonment
  • Vehicles & injury to personal property
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages
  • Reimbursement claims & medical liens
OnLAW TO94510

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$ 345.00
Print TO33510

2d edition, looseleaf, updated 1/19

 

$ 345.00

Practical advice on evaluating and proving damages recoverable for a wide variety of personal injuries, and discussion of the kinds of injuries for which damages are and are not recoverable.

  • Bodily injury
  • Assault & battery
  • Infliction of emotional distress
  • Wrongful death & survival actions
  • Wrongful life & birth
  • Emotional distress
  • Defamation & invasion of privacy
  • Malicious prosecution & abuse of process
  • False arrest & false imprisonment
  • Vehicles & injury to personal property
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages
  • Reimbursement claims & medical liens

1

Bodily Injury

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  1.1
    • B.  Statutory Measure; Reasonableness  1.2
    • C.  Terminology
      • 1.  Damages; Detriment; Actual Damages  1.3
      • 2.  Special, General  1.4
      • 3.  Economic, Noneconomic  1.5
      • 4.  Future Damages; Reasonable Certainty  1.6
      • 5.  Quotient Verdicts  1.7
    • D.  Choosing Plaintiffs
      • 1.  Competent Adult; Spouse  1.8
        • a.  Medical Expense  1.9
        • b.  Earnings  1.10
        • c.  Care of Injured Person  1.11
      • 2.  Incompetent Person; Guardian or Conservator  1.12
      • 3.  Minor; Parent or Guardian  1.13
        • a.  Effect of Settlements  1.13A
        • b.  Prenatal Injury  1.14
        • c.  Effect of Comparative Fault  1.14A
        • d.  Medical Expense  1.15
        • e.  Earnings; Services to Parents  1.16
        • f.  Minor’s Personal Care  1.17
      • 4.  Injured Person’s Estate  1.18
      • 5.  Injured Person’s Employer  1.19
  • II.  MEDICAL EXPENSE
    • A.  Standards of Proof
      • 1.  Past Expense  1.20
      • 2.  Future Expense
        • a.  Reasonable Certainty  1.21
        • b.  Medical Monitoring  1.22
    • B.  Particular Services and Supplies
      • 1.  Medical Doctors and Other Practitioners  1.23
      • 2.  Hospitals; Other Institutions  1.24
      • 3.  Nursing and Attendant Care  1.25
      • 4.  Physical Therapy  1.26
      • 5.  Psychotherapy  1.27
      • 6.  Rehabilitation; Retraining  1.28
      • 7.  X-Rays; Laboratory Tests; Other Diagnostic Procedures  1.29
      • 8.  Drugs; Medication  1.30
      • 9.  Prostheses; Aids to Function; Equipment  1.31
      • 10.  Modified or Special Vehicles or Dwellings  1.32
      • 11.  Travel Expense  1.33
    • C.  Witnesses and Exhibits
      • 1.  Medical Bills; Receipts; Treatment Records  1.34
      • 2.  Injured Person  1.35
      • 3.  Doctors; Other Practitioners  1.36
      • 4.  Stipulation  1.37
      • 5.  Request for Admission  1.38
      • 6.  Economist  1.39
      • 7.  Family Member or Other Provider of Services  1.40
      • 8.  Accident Reconstruction and Other Experts  1.40A
  • III.  LOST EARNINGS; IMPAIRED EARNING CAPACITY
    • A.  Standards of Proof
      • 1.  Earnings Loss and Impairment  1.41
      • 2.  Lost Earnings
        • a.  Past Loss  1.42
        • b.  Future Loss  1.43
      • 3.  Impaired Earning Capacity  1.44
    • B.  Specific Losses
      • 1.  Employed Person
        • a.  Regular Salary; Wages  1.45
        • b.  Commissions; Bonuses  1.46
        • c.  Tips  1.47
        • d.  Overtime Pay  1.48
        • e.  Lost Benefits  1.49
        • f.  Sick Leave; Vacation Time  1.50
        • g.  Lost or Delayed Promotions, Increases, and Opportunities  1.51
      • 2.  Self-Employed Person  1.52
        • a.  Sole Proprietor  1.53
        • b.  Partner  1.54
      • 3.  Unemployed Person  1.55
      • 4.  Minor
        • a.  Employed and Employable Youth  1.56
        • b.  Young Child  1.57
      • 5.  Homemaker  1.58
    • C.  Witnesses and Exhibits
      • 1.  Employment Records  1.59
      • 2.  Statement From Employer  1.60
      • 3.  Income Tax Returns  1.61
      • 4.  Injured Person  1.62
      • 5.  Employer; Coworker  1.63
      • 6.  Economists and Other Experts  1.64
      • 7.  Medical Testimony and Reports  1.65
  • IV.  SERVICES
    • A.  Family’s Loss  1.66
      • 1.  Nature and Extent of Services  1.67
      • 2.  Cost or Value  1.68
    • B.  Personal Care  1.69
  • V.  PAIN AND SUFFERING
    • A.  Standards of Proof  1.70
    • B.  Permissible Claimants  1.71
    • C.  Terminology
      • 1.  Pain  1.72
      • 2.  Suffering  1.73
      • 3.  Emotional Distress  1.74
      • 4.  Psychogenic Injury  1.75
    • D.  Computation; Argument  1.76
    • E.  Witnesses and Exhibits
      • 1.  Injured Person  1.77
      • 2.  Doctors; Medical Personnel  1.78
      • 3.  Family Members; Coworkers; Friends  1.79
      • 4.  Medical Records  1.80
      • 5.  Photographs  1.81
  • VI.  OTHER ELEMENTS OF RECOVERY
    • A.  Alternative Forms of Detriment  1.82
      • 1.  Fact of Injury  1.83
      • 2.  Disfigurement  1.84
      • 3.  Disability  1.85
      • 4.  Impaired Enjoyment of Life  1.86
      • 5.  Susceptibility to Future Injury or Harm  1.87
      • 6.  Aggravation of Preexisting Condition  1.88
      • 7.  Exposure to Additional Harm  1.89
      • 8.  Shortened Life Expectancy  1.90
      • 9.  Lost Chance for Survival or Recovery  1.91
    • B.  Punitive Damages  1.92
    • C.  Treble Damages  1.93
    • D.  Interest
      • 1.  After CCP §998 Settlement Offer  1.94
        • a.  Judgment More Favorable Than Offer  1.95
          • (1)  Offers by Multiple Plaintiffs  1.95A
          • (2)  Offers to Multiple Defendants  1.95B
        • b.  Sexual Harassment Damages  1.96
      • 2.  On Damages Certain; Jury Discretion  1.97
      • 3.  Postjudgment  1.98
    • E.  Attorney Fees  1.99
      • 1.  Public Interest Issue (Private Attorney General)  1.100
      • 2.  Common Fund Doctrine  1.101
      • 3.  FEHA Actions  1.102
      • 4.  Worker’s Action Against Uninsured Employer  1.103
      • 5.  Defendant’s Tortious Conduct Was Felonious  1.104
      • 6.  Cross-Complaint for Implied Indemnity  1.105
      • 7.  As Sanction for Discovery Abuse  1.106
    • F.  Expert Witness Costs  1.106A
  • VII.  FACTORS AFFECTING RECOVERY
    • A.  Economic Trends  1.107
    • B.  Discounting to Present Value  1.108
    • C.  Effect of Tax Laws  1.109
    • D.  Assignment of Damages on Dissolution of Marriage  1.110
    • E.  Causation  1.111
  • VIII.  TAX CONSEQUENCES
    • A.  To Plaintiff  1.112
      • 1.  Tax Benefit Rule (Medical Expense)  1.113
      • 2.  Wage and Benefit Payments  1.114
      • 3.  Interest and Periodic Payments  1.115
      • 4.  Attorney Fees and Costs  1.116
      • 5.  Workers’ Compensation and Other Employment Benefits  1.117
      • 6.  Discrimination  1.118
      • 7.  Wrongful Termination  1.119
    • B.  To Defendant  1.120
      • 1.  Timing of Income and Deductions  1.121
      • 2.  Penalties and Disclosure  1.122

2

Loss of Consortium

  • I.  NATURE OF CAUSE OF ACTION  2.1
  • II.  PLAINTIFFS
    • A.  Spouse; Domestic Partner  2.2
    • B.  Cohabitant  2.3
    • C.  Parent  2.4
    • D.  Child  2.5
  • III.  DAMAGES
    • A.  Recoverable  2.6
    • B.  Limits on Recoverable Damages  2.7
  • IV.  BRINGING THE ACTION
    • A.  Statute of Limitations  2.8
    • B.  Showing Seriousness of Injured Spouse’s Injury  2.9
    • C.  Stating Separate Causes of Action; Joinder  2.10
    • D.  Pleading Damages  2.11
    • E.  Proving Damages
      • 1.  Preparing for Deposition  2.12
      • 2.  Witnesses  2.13
      • 3.  Showing Impairment of Relationship  2.14
  • V.  FACTORS AFFECTING RECOVERY
    • A.  Insurance Policy Limits  2.15
    • B.  Effect of Worker’s Compensation Lien  2.16
    • C.  Effect of Preverdict Settlement  2.16A
    • D.  Comparative Fault and (Equitable) Indemnity  2.17
  • VI.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  2.18

3

Wrongful Death

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  3.1
    • B.  Measure of Wrongful Death Damages  3.2
    • C.  Who May Recover: Qualified Survivors  3.3
      • 1.  Spouse; Domestic Partner  3.4
      • 2.  Child; Issue of Deceased Child  3.5
      • 3.  Putative Spouse; Putative Spouse’s Child; Stepchild  3.6
      • 4.  Parent  3.7
      • 5.  Minor Who Lived With Decedent  3.8
      • 6.  Grandparent, Sibling, or Other Intestate Heir  3.9
      • 7.  Heir by Disclaimer  3.10
      • 8.  Personal Representative  3.11
    • D.  Limits on Damages
      • 1.  Excessiveness; Foreign Law Limits  3.12
      • 2.  Medical Malpractice Liability  3.13
      • 3.  Future Detriment: Discounting to Present Value  3.14
    • E.  Procedural Considerations
      • 1.  Joining All Qualified Survivors  3.15
      • 2.  Meeting Time Requirements  3.16
      • 3.  Apportioning Lump-Sum Award  3.17
      • 4.  Reducing Damages for Comparative Fault  3.18
      • 5.  Recovering Prejudgment Interest  3.19
    • F.  Death During or Before Birth  3.20
  • II.  RECOVERABLE ELEMENTS
    • A.  Financial Support; Contributions  3.21
      • 1.  By Spouse  3.22
      • 2.  By Child  3.23
      • 3.  By Parent  3.24
      • 4.  By Other Survivor  3.25
    • B.  Loss of Services  3.26
      • 1.  By Spouse  3.27
      • 2.  By Child, Parent, or Other Survivor  3.28
    • C.  Society, Comfort, Care, Protection, Companionship, and Consortium  3.29
      • 1.  By Spouse  3.30
      • 2.  By Child  3.31
      • 3.  By Parent  3.32
      • 4.  By Other Intestate Heir  3.33
    • D.  Training and Advice  3.34
    • E.  Funeral and Burial Expense  3.35
    • F.  Prospective Gifts From Decedent  3.36
    • G.  Other Elements  3.37
  • III.  NONRECOVERABLE ELEMENTS
    • A.  Detriment Suffered by Decedent Before Death  3.38
    • B.  Decedent’s Medical Expenses  3.39
    • C.  Survivor’s Grief, Sorrow, Anguish, and Mental Suffering  3.40
    • D.  Decedent’s Prospective Savings; Expectancy of Inheritance  3.41
    • E.  Punitive Damages  3.42
  • IV.  FACTORS AFFECTING DAMAGES
    • A.  Date of Fatal Injury  3.43
      • 1.  Survivor’s Marital Status; Remarriage  3.44
      • 2.  Survivor’s Prejudgment Death  3.45
    • B.  Predeath Personal Injury Judgment
      • 1.  Decedent’s Damages Recovery  3.46
      • 2.  Defense Judgment  3.47
    • C.  Decedent’s and Survivor’s Life Expectancies
      • 1.  Using Mortality Tables  3.48
      • 2.  Decedent’s and Survivor’s Ages and Health  3.49
    • D.  Decedent’s Earning Capacity  3.50
    • E.  Decedent’s Moral Character and Habits  3.51
    • F.  Decedent’s Disposition Toward Survivor  3.52
    • G.  Decedent’s Obligation to Support  3.53
    • H.  Value of Decedent’s Estate; Amount of Survivor’s Inheritance or Death Benefits  3.54
    • I.  Survivor’s Reduced Support Expenses  3.55
    • J.  Survivor’s Wealth or Poverty  3.56
    • K.  Federal Law Limitations; DOHSA and ERISA Preemption  3.57
    • L.  Decedent’s Felonious Killer Excluded  3.58
  • V.  PROVING DAMAGES
    • A.  Witnesses and Exhibits  3.59
    • B.  Closing Argument  3.60
  • VI.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  3.61

4

Survival Actions

  • I.  NATURE OF SURVIVAL ACTIONS
    • A.  Survival Action Situations  4.1
    • B.  Relationship to Wrongful Death Actions
      • 1.  Persons Entitled to Recover  4.2
      • 2.  Nature of Recoverable Damages  4.3
  • II.  BRINGING THE ACTION; JOINDER WITH RELATED ACTIONS
    • A.  Persons Entitled to Bring or Continue Decedent’s Survival Action  4.4
    • B.  Substitution; Filing New Complaint  4.5
    • C.  Statute of Limitations  4.6
    • D.  Joinder; Related Causes of Action  4.7
    • E.  Causes of Action That Survive
      • 1.  Decedent’s Causes of Action  4.8
      • 2.  Causes of Action Against Decedent  4.9
  • III.  PERSONAL INJURY DAMAGES
    • A.  Damages That Survive Death
      • 1.  Punitive Damages  4.10
      • 2.  Medical and Related Expenses  4.11
      • 3.  Loss of Earnings  4.12
      • 4.  Expenses of Personal and Substituted Services  4.13
      • 5.  Effect of Plaintiff’s Death After Verdict or Judgment  4.14
    • B.  Damages That Do Not Survive Death
      • 1.  Pain, Suffering, Disfigurement; Emotional Distress  4.15
      • 2.  Other Nonrecoverable Damages  4.16
  • IV.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  4.17

5

Wrongful Life and Birth

  • I.  IMPAIRED CHILD
    • A.  Child’s Cause of Action: Wrongful Life
      • 1.  Liability  5.1
        • a.  Health Care Provider or Service  5.2
        • b.  Parent  5.3
      • 2.  Damages
        • a.  Extraordinary Expense  5.4
        • b.  Impaired Earning Capacity  5.5
        • c.  Pain, Suffering, and Emotional Distress  5.6
        • d.  Shortened Life Expectancy  5.7
        • e.  Punitive Damages  5.8
      • 3.  Argument Relating to Damages  5.9
    • B.  Parents’ Cause of Action: Wrongful Birth
      • 1.  Liability  5.10
      • 2.  Damages
        • a.  Extraordinary Expense  5.11
        • b.  Emotional Distress  5.12
  • II.  UNWANTED, UNIMPAIRED CHILD
    • A.  Child’s Cause of Action  5.13
    • B.  Parent’s Cause of Action
      • 1.  Liability  5.14
      • 2.  Damages  5.15
  • III.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  5.16

6

Emotional Distress

  • I.  PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  6.1
    • B.  Establishing Genuineness of Claim  6.2
  • II.  CIRCUMSTANCES SUPPORTING LIABILITY
    • A.  Impact (Unwanted Contact)  6.3
    • B.  “Physical” Injury or Disorder  6.4
    • C.  Fear for Own Safety; Zone of Danger  6.5
    • D.  Fear of Future Illness  6.6
    • E.  Nuisance; Trespass; Uninhabitability; Fraud  6.7
    • F.  Bystander’s Perception of Loved One’s Injury  6.8
      • 1.  Close Relationship  6.9
      • 2.  Presence and Awareness
        • a.  Presence at Time of Injury  6.10
        • b.  Personal Contemporaneous Perception  6.11
        • c.  Awareness of Injury-Producing Event and Injury  6.12
      • 3.  Distress Related to Relationship  6.13
      • 4.  Defenses
        • a.  Defendant Not Liable to Primary Victim  6.14
        • b.  Employer’s Immunity  6.15
    • G.  Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)
      • 1.  Nature and Elements of Recovery  6.16
      • 2.  Factors Affecting Liability
        • a.  Outrageous Conduct by Defendant  6.17
        • b.  Conduct Directed at Plaintiff  6.18
        • c.  Severe Emotional Suffering  6.19
      • 3.  Defenses
        • a.  Statute of Limitations  6.20
        • b.  Privilege  6.21
        • c.  Underlying Cause of Action Untenable  6.22
        • d.  Employer’s Immunity  6.23
    • H.  Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED)
      • 1.  Nature and Elements of Recovery  6.24
      • 2.  Factors Affecting Liability
        • a.  Foreseeability of Injury  6.25
        • b.  Plaintiff a “Direct Victim”  6.26
        • c.  Preexisting or Special Relationship  6.27
        • d.  Outrageous Conduct  6.28
        • e.  Serious or Severe Distress  6.29
      • 3.  Defenses
        • a.  Statute of Limitations  6.30
        • b.  Distress Not Caused by Invasion of Personal Interest  6.31
        • c.  Privilege  6.32
      • 4.  Particular Situations
        • a.  Breach of Statutory Duty  6.33
        • b.  Breach of Contract  6.34
        • c.  Misrepresentation  6.35
        • d.  Damage to Real or Personal Property  6.36
        • e.  Product Defects  6.37
        • f.  Attorneys’ Professional Negligence  6.38
        • g.  Malpractice in Criminal Cases  6.38A
        • h.  Insurance Bad Faith  6.39
  • III.  DAMAGES
    • A.  Characteristics of Emotional Distress  6.40
    • B.  Physical Injury or Symptoms  6.41
    • C.  Special Damages  6.42
    • D.  Punitive Damages  6.43
  • IV.  PLEADING  6.44
  • V.  PROVING EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
    • A.  Witnesses
      • 1.  Plaintiff  6.45
      • 2.  Family and Friends  6.46
      • 3.  Coworkers  6.47
      • 4.  Medical Professionals  6.48
    • B.  Exhibits
      • 1.  Medical, Employment, and School Records  6.49
      • 2.  Photographs  6.50
      • 3.  Plaintiff’s Financial Records  6.51
  • VI.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  6.52

7

Assault and Battery

  • I.  LIABILITY
    • A.  Assault
      • 1.  Defined  7.1
      • 2.  Elements of Cause of Action  7.2
    • B.  Battery
      • 1.  Defined  7.3
      • 2.  Elements of Cause of Action  7.4
        • a.  Intention  7.5
        • b.  Harmful or Offensive Contact  7.6
    • C.  Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  7.7
      • 2.  Self-Defense; Reasonable Force  7.8
      • 3.  Consent  7.9
      • 4.  Immunity  7.9A
  • II.  DAMAGES
    • A.  General Rule  7.10
    • B.  Maximizing Recovery  7.11
      • 1.  Medical Expense  7.12
      • 2.  Lost Earnings  7.13
      • 3.  Impaired Earning Capacity  7.14
      • 4.  Emotional Distress  7.15
        • a.  Plaintiff’s Testimony  7.16
        • b.  Other Lay Witness Testimony  7.17
        • c.  Expert Testimony  7.18
      • 5.  Punitive Damages  7.19
  • III.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  7.20

8

Defamation

  • I.  LIABILITY FACTORS
    • A.  Defining “Libel” and “Slander”  8.1
    • B.  Need to Plead and Prove Special Damage
      • 1.  Libel: Per Se and Per Quod  8.2
        • a.  Natural and Probable Interpretation  8.3
        • b.  Examples of Libel Per Se  8.4
      • 2.  Slander: Per Se and Per Quod  8.5
    • C.  Publication; Republication  8.6
    • D.  Employers’ and Coemployees’ Liability  8.7
  • II.  DAMAGES AND OTHER RELIEF
    • A.  Damages
      • 1.  General Damages; Per Se Presumption  8.8
      • 2.  Special Damages  8.9
      • 3.  Nominal Damages  8.10
      • 4.  Punitive (Exemplary) Damages
        • a.  Recoverability  8.11
        • b.  Proving Amount  8.12
      • 5.  Plaintiff’s Proof  8.13
      • 6.  Defendant’s Proof  8.14
    • B.  Injunctive Relief  8.15
    • C.  Declaratory Relief  8.16
    • D.  Removal From Elected Office  8.17
    • E.  Attorney Fees  8.17A
  • III.  FACTORS RESTRICTING RECOVERY
    • A.  General Defenses
      • 1.  Consent; “Ministerial Exception”  8.18
      • 2.  Privilege  8.19
      • 3.  Truth of Facts; Nonactionability of Opinion  8.20
      • 4.  Statute of Limitations  8.21
      • 5.  Anti-SLAPP Law  8.22
      • 6.  Examples of Anti-SLAPP Cases  8.22A
      • 7.  Plaintiff’s Bad (“Libel-Proof”) Reputation  8.23
      • 8.  Incremental Harm Doctrine  8.24
    • B.  Single-Publication Rule
      • 1.  Statutory Basis  8.25
      • 2.  Applicability  8.26
    • C.  Defendant’s Correction or Retraction
      • 1.  By Newspaper or Broadcaster
        • a.  Forestalling General and Punitive Damages  8.27
        • b.  Plaintiff’s Notice and Demand for Correction
          • (1)  Service  8.28
          • (2)  Sufficiency  8.29
        • c.  Defendant’s Correction; Sufficiency  8.30
      • 2.  Persons Not Protected by CC §48a  8.31
      • 3.  Effect of Correction When CC §48a Not Applicable  8.32
      • 4.  Court-Ordered Retraction  8.32A
    • D.  First Amendment Restrictions
      • 1.  Public Figure’s Need to Prove “Actual Malice”  8.33
        • a.  Proving “Constitutional Actual Malice”  8.34
        • b.  Defining “Public Figure”  8.35
        • c.  Defining “Matter of Public Concern”  8.36
      • 2.  Private Figure’s Need to Prove Fault  8.37
      • 3.  Need to Prove Actual Injury  8.38
        • a.  For Nominal Damages  8.39
        • b.  For Presumed (General) Damages  8.40
        • c.  For Punitive Damages  8.41
  • IV.  CONFLICT OF LAWS  8.42
  • V.  APPELLATE REVIEW  8.43
  • VI.  INJURIOUS FALSEHOOD
    • A.  Distinguished From “Personal” Defamation  8.44
    • B.  Slander of Title  8.45
    • C.  Trade Libel: Disparagement of Quality  8.46
    • D.  Recoverable Damages  8.47
  • VII.  TAX CONSEQUENCES
    • A.  Compensatory Damages  8.48
    • B.  Punitive Damages  8.49
    • C.  When Personal and Nonpersonal Injury Claims Involved  8.50

9

Invasion of Privacy

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Categories of Privacy Invasions  9.1
    • B.  Constitutional Privacy Protection  9.2
    • C.  Relation to Defamation  9.3
  • II.  LIABILITY FACTORS
    • A.  Placing Plaintiff in False Light
      • 1.  Elements  9.4
      • 2.  Defenses  9.5
    • B.  Disclosing Personal Information
      • 1.  Elements
        • a.  Common Law  9.6
        • b.  Statutory: Medical Information; Federal Acts  9.7
      • 2.  Defenses  9.8
    • C.  Intruding on Solitude
      • 1.  Elements
        • a.  Common Law  9.9
        • b.  Statutory: Wiretapping and Eavesdropping  9.10
        • c.  Trespassing to Photograph or Record  9.11
      • 2.  Defenses  9.12
    • D.  Misappropriating Name or Likeness
      • 1.  Elements
        • a.  Common Law: Right of Publicity  9.13
        • b.  Statutory: Living Persons  9.14
        • c.  Statutory: Deceased Personalities  9.15
      • 2.  Defenses  9.16
  • III.  DAMAGES AND RELIEF
    • A.  Mental Suffering, Emotional Distress, and Physical Consequences  9.17
    • B.  Injury to Reputation  9.18
    • C.  Medical and Psychiatric Expenses; Other Damages  9.19
    • D.  Statutory Damages  9.20
    • E.  Punitive Damages  9.21
    • F.  Injunctive Relief
      • 1.  Intrusion  9.22
      • 2.  Misappropriation of Name or Likeness  9.23
  • IV.  PROVING DAMAGES
    • A.  Witnesses
      • 1.  Plaintiff  9.24
      • 2.  Plaintiff’s Friends and Coworkers  9.25
      • 3.  Expert Witnesses  9.26
    • B.  Documents  9.27
  • V.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  9.28

10

Malicious Prosecution

  • I.  LIABILITY FACTORS
    • A.  Nature of Cause of Action
      • 1.  Purpose; Pleadings  10.1
      • 2.  Other Torts Compared  10.2
    • B.  Persons Who May Recover  10.3
    • C.  Persons Who May Be Liable
      • 1.  Participants in Underlying Action  10.4
      • 2.  Attorneys  10.5
      • 3.  Entities; Principals; Insurers  10.6
    • D.  Immunities From Liability  10.7
    • E.  Insurance Coverage  10.8
    • F.  Elements of Cause of Action
      • 1.  Commencing or Continuing Prior Proceeding  10.9
        • a.  Criminal Prosecution  10.10
        • b.  Civil Proceedings
          • (1)  Civil Actions; Ancillary Proceedings  10.11
          • (2)  Administrative Proceedings  10.12
          • (3)  Arbitration Proceedings  10.13
      • 2.  Lack of Probable Cause
        • a.  General Standard  10.14
        • b.  Standard for Attorneys  10.15
      • 3.  Malice  10.16
      • 4.  Favorable Termination of Prior Proceeding
        • a.  By Judgment or Decree  10.17
        • b.  By Dismissal  10.18
        • c.  By Settlement  10.19
        • d.  Effect of Appeal  10.20
      • 5.  Injury or Loss  10.21
    • G.  Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  10.22
      • 2.  Advice of Counsel  10.23
      • 3.  Attorney's Reliance on Information From Client  10.23A
      • 4.  Presumption From Conviction or Judgment  10.24
      • 5.  Privilege  10.25
      • 6.  Anti-SLAPP Law  10.25A
      • 7.  SLAPPback Claims  10.25B
      • 8.  Equity  10.26
  • II.  RECOVERABLE DAMAGES
    • A.  Generally  10.27
    • B.  Litigation Costs and Attorney Fees
      • 1.  Incurred in Underlying Proceeding
        • a.  Attorney Fees
          • (1)  Recovery for Reasonable Fees  10.28
          • (2)  Proving Amount and Reasonableness  10.29
        • b.  Other Litigation Costs  10.30
      • 2.  Costs, Fees, and Interest in Malicious Prosecution Action; CCP §998  10.31
    • C.  Loss of Social Standing; Creditworthiness  10.32
    • D.  Loss of Earnings or Business Profits  10.33
    • E.  Mental and Emotional Distress  10.34
    • F.  Injury to Reputation  10.35
    • G.  Bodily Injury  10.36
    • H.  Punitive Damages  10.37
    • I.  Detriment Arising From Arrest or Imprisonment  10.38
    • J.  Apportioning Damages  10.39
    • K.  Duty to Mitigate  10.40
  • III.  FUNCTIONS OF JUDGE AND JURY  10.41
  • IV.  REPRESENTATION BY FORMER ATTORNEY  10.42
  • V.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  10.43

11

Abuse of Process

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Defining “Abuse of Process”  11.1
    • B.  Distinguishing Malicious Prosecution  11.2
  • II.  ESTABLISHING LIABILITY
    • A.  Elements of Cause of Action  11.3
      • 1.  Defining “Process”  11.4
      • 2.  Ulterior Purpose; Improper Use  11.5
    • B.  Illustrative Situations  11.6
    • C.  Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  11.7
      • 2.  Privilege  11.8
      • 3.  Anti-SLAPP Law; SLAPPback Claims  11.8A
  • III.  DAMAGES AND OTHER RELIEF
    • A.  Compensatory Damages  11.9
    • B.  Punitive Damages
      • 1.  Proving Malice  11.10
      • 2.  Effect of Advice of Counsel  11.11
    • C.  Injunction  11.12
  • IV.  PROCEDURAL CONSIDERATIONS
    • A.  Pleading  11.13
      • 1.  Joining Causes of Action  11.14
      • 2.  Joining Attorney as Defendant  11.15
    • B.  Trial Strategy and Proof
      • 1.  Proving Abuse  11.16
      • 2.  Proving Motive and Malice  11.17
      • 3.  Proving Damages  11.18
  • V.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  11.19

12

False Arrest and False Imprisonment

  • I.  LIABILITY FACTORS
    • A.  Defining the Tort  12.1
    • B.  Distinguishing Related Torts  12.2
    • C.  Permissible Claimants  12.3
    • D.  Persons Liable
      • 1.  Police Officers, Private Persons, and Others
        • a.  For Arresting or Detaining  12.4
        • b.  For Imprisoning  12.5
        • c.  For Aiding Arrest or Imprisonment  12.6
      • 2.  Employers  12.7
      • 3.  Attorneys  12.7A
    • E.  Pleading  12.8
    • F.  Defenses
      • 1.  Statute of Limitations  12.9
      • 2.  Government Claims Presentation  12.10
      • 3.  Public Employee and Entity Immunities  12.11
      • 4.  Merchants’ Defense  12.12
      • 5.  Amusement Park Defense  12.13
      • 6.  Privilege: Reporting Potential Criminal Activity; Probable Cause  12.14
      • 7.  Actions Taken at Request of Police Officer  12.15
      • 8.  Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity  12.16
  • II.  DAMAGES
    • A.  Foreseeable Detriment  12.17
      • 1.  Loss of Liberty  12.18
      • 2.  Emotional Suffering  12.19
      • 3.  Physical Injury  12.20
      • 4.  Loss of Income  12.21
      • 5.  Attorney Fees and Costs  12.22
    • B.  Punitive Damages  12.23
    • C.  Determining Compensability Period  12.24
  • III.  PROVING DAMAGES
    • A.  Witnesses  12.25
      • 1.  Plaintiff  12.26
      • 2.  Family Members  12.27
      • 3.  Coworkers  12.28
      • 4.  Experts  12.29
    • B.  Exhibits  12.30
  • IV.  ARGUMENT
    • A.  Plaintiff  12.31
    • B.  Defendants  12.32
  • V.  FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIONS  12.33
  • VI.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  12.34

13

Vehicles and Other Personal Property

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  13.1
    • B.  Statutory Basis for Recovery  13.2
    • C.  Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate  13.3
    • D.  Payments From Independent Sources  13.4
    • E.  Burden of Proof  13.5
  • II.  MOTOR VEHICLES
    • A.  Damages Elements Summary  13.6
    • B.  Diminished Value; Cost of Restoring Value
      • 1.  Destroyed (or Lost) Vehicle
        • a.  Market Value  13.7
        • b.  Special Value; Unique Vehicle  13.8
      • 2.  Fully Restorable Vehicle  13.9
        • a.  Repair Costs  13.10
        • b.  Diminution in Value  13.11
      • 3.  Partially Restorable Vehicle  13.12
    • C.  Loss of Use  13.13
    • D.  Loss of Profits From Prospective Sale  13.14
    • E.  Lost Business Profits  13.15
    • F.  Out-of-Pocket Expenses  13.16
    • G.  Emotional Distress  13.17
    • H.  Punitive Damages  13.18
  • III.  OTHER ITEMS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY  13.19
    • A.  Jewelry  13.20
    • B.  Apparel  13.21
    • C.  Paintings, Books, and Papers  13.22
    • D.  Mechanical or Electronic Equipment  13.23
    • E.  Pets  13.24
  • IV.  TAX CONSEQUENCES  13.25

14

Punitive Damages

  • I.  LIABILITY FACTORS
    • A.  Nature; Purpose  14.1
    • B.  Requirements
      • 1.  Tortious Conduct
        • a.  Breach of Noncontractual Obligation  14.2
        • b.  Breach of Statutory Obligation  14.3
        • c.  Intentional Tort  14.4
      • 2.  Clear and Convincing Evidence of Punishable Conduct  14.5
        • a.  Malice  14.6
        • b.  Oppression  14.7
        • c.  Fraud  14.8
      • 3.  Actual Damages  14.9
        • a.  Evidence Supporting Amount  14.10
        • b.  Reasonable Relation to Actual Injury  14.11
        • c.  Due Process Limitations on Punitive Damages  14.11A
    • C.  Constitutionality of Punitive Damages  14.12
  • II.  PERSONS ENTITLED TO RECOVER
    • A.  Injured Individual  14.13
    • B.  Spouse or Family Member  14.14
    • C.  Personal Representative or Survivor  14.15
    • D.  Public Entity  14.16
  • III.  POTENTIAL DEFENDANTS’ IMMUNITIES AND DEFENSES
    • A.  Estates and Survivors  14.17
    • B.  Public Entities and Employees
      • 1.  California  14.18
      • 2.  Federal  14.19
    • C.  Employers
      • 1.  Statutory Prerequisites  14.20
      • 2.  Corporation’s Imputed Knowledge  14.21
      • 3.  Causes of Action
        • a.  Discrimination or Harassment  14.22
        • b.  Firing Contrary to Public Policy  14.23
    • D.  Insurers: Causes of Action
      • 1.  First Party Bad Faith  14.24
      • 2.  Third Party Bad Faith  14.25
      • 3.  Uninsured Motorist  14.26
    • E.  Product Manufacturers or Suppliers  14.27
    • F.  Attorneys: Malpractice  14.28
    • G.  Health Care Providers: Medical Malpractice  14.29
    • H.  Religious Corporations  14.30
    • I.  Nonprofit Corporations’ Officers and Directors  14.31
    • J.  Conservatorship  14.31A
  • IV.  PROCEDURES
    • A.  Before Trial
      • 1.  Pleading; Statement of Damages  14.32
      • 2.  Summary Judgment  14.33
      • 3.  Discovery  14.34
      • 4.  Arbitration  14.35
    • B.  During Trial
      • 1.  Motion for Protective Order  14.36
      • 2.  Application for Bifurcation  14.37
      • 3.  Proving Defendant’s Financial Condition  14.38
      • 4.  Jury Instructions; Special Verdict  14.39
      • 5.  Argument
        • a.  By Plaintiff  14.40
        • b.  By Defendant  14.41
    • C.  After Verdict
      • 1.  Motion for New Trial or Remittitur  14.42
      • 2.  Assessing Interest on Punitive Damages  14.43
      • 3.  Collecting Punitive Damages Judgments; Insurance Coverage  14.44
      • 4.  Giving Notice of Judgment Against Health Care Service Plan or Insurer  14.45
      • 5.  Avoiding Discharge in Bankruptcy  14.46
  • V.  TAX CONSEQUENCES
    • A.  Deductibility by Defendant  14.47
    • B.  Taxability to Plaintiff  14.48

15

Restrictions on Recovery

  • I.  SCOPE OF CHAPTER  15.1
  • II.  COMPARATIVE FAULT
    • A.  Negligence
      • 1.  Bodily Injury; Property Damage  15.2
      • 2.  Wrongful Death
        • a.  Decedent’s Fault  15.3
        • b.  Survivors’ Fault  15.4
    • B.  Strict Product Liability  15.5
    • C.  Plaintiff’s Contributory Willful Misconduct  15.6
    • D.  Intentional Misconduct  15.7
  • III.  PROPOSITION 51 (FAIR RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1986)
    • A.  Modified Joint and Several Liability  15.8
    • B.  Roles of Trier of Fact and Trial Judge  15.9
    • C.  Distinguishing Economic From Noneconomic Damages  15.10
    • D.  Calculating Damages Reductions
      • 1.  Fault of Plaintiff, Decedent, or Spouse  15.11
      • 2.  Preverdict Settlements  15.12
      • 3.  Postverdict Settlements  15.13
      • 4.  Workers’ Compensation  15.14
    • E.  Particular Situations
      • 1.  Strict Product Liability  15.15
      • 2.  Premises Liability (Nondelegable Duty)  15.16
      • 3.  Employer’s Respondeat Superior Liability  15.17
      • 4.  Vehicle Owners’ and Entrusters’ Liability  15.18
      • 5.  Misrepresentation  15.18A
      • 6.  Injury Aggravated by Medical Malpractice  15.18B
  • IV.  PRIOR PAYMENTS
    • A.  By Defendant; Advances  15.19
    • B.  By Plaintiff’s Insurer (Under Uninsured Motorist and Other Coverages)  15.20
    • C.  By Alleged Tortfeasors (Prior Settlements)  15.21
    • D.  By Collateral Sources  15.22
  • V.  FAILURE TO MITIGATE DAMAGES
    • A.  Reduction for Failure to Mitigate; Avoidable Consequences Doctrine  15.23
    • B.  Need to Accept Surgery or Other Treatment  15.24
  • VI.  DAMAGES LIMITATIONS IN PARTICULAR SITUATIONS
    • A.  Plaintiff Injured Committing or Fleeing From Felony  15.25
    • B.  Uninsured or Intoxicated Plaintiff Injured in Motor Vehicle  15.26
      • 1.  Wrongful Death Claimant  15.27
      • 2.  Person Suing Vehicle Supplier (Product Liability)  15.28
      • 3.  Insured Driver in Uninsured Vehicle  15.29
      • 4.  Uninsured Driver in Employer’s Vehicle  15.30
      • 5.  Undocumented Alien Unable to Obtain Insurance  15.31
      • 6.  Person Suing for Injury Caused by Dangerous Condition of Property  15.32
    • C.  Public Entity Defendant  15.33
      • 1.  Periodic Payment of Judgment  15.34
      • 2.  Reducing Judgment for Collateral Source Payments  15.35
    • D.  Parent’s Liability for Minor’s Conduct
      • 1.  Negligent Driving  15.36
      • 2.  Willful Misconduct  15.37
      • 3.  Defacing Property  15.38
      • 4.  Discharging Firearm  15.39
    • E.  Federal Law Violations  15.40
    • F.  Medical Malpractice; MICRA  15.41
      • 1.  Ceiling on Noneconomic Damages  15.42
        • a.  Loss of Consortium Damages  15.43
        • b.  Wrongful Death Damages  15.44
        • c.  Survival Action Damages  15.45
        • d.  Causes of Action Exempt From Ceiling: Battery; Elder Abuse; EMTALA  15.46
        • e.  Causes of Action Subject to Ceiling  15.47
      • 2.  Collateral Source Evidence
        • a.  Defendant’s Right to Introduce  15.48
        • b.  Reimbursement Rights of Benefits Furnishers  15.49
      • 3.  Periodic Payment of Future Damages  15.50
        • a.  Calculating Payment Schedule  15.51
        • b.  Interest on Future Damages  15.52
      • 4.  Punitive Damages
        • a.  Procedural Prerequisites  15.53
        • b.  Causes of Action Affected  15.54
        • c.  Proving Substantial Probability  15.55
      • 5.  Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees
        • a.  Statutory Limits  15.56
        • b.  Fees From Periodic Payments  15.57
      • 6.  Expert Witness Fees  15.58

16

Reimbursement Claims and Liens

  • I.  INTRODUCTION
    • A.  Scope of Chapter  16.1
    • B.  General Considerations
      • 1.  Identifying Potential Claims  16.2
      • 2.  Attorney’s Duties to Client and to Lien Claimant  16.3
      • 3.  Compromising the Claim  16.4
      • 4.  Attorney Fees  16.5
  • II.  CLAIMS BASED ON CONTRACT PROVISIONS
    • A.  By Plaintiff’s Automobile Insurer
      • 1.  Medical Payments  16.6
      • 2.  Property Damage Payments  16.7
    • B.  By Treating Doctor or Hospital  16.8
    • C.  By Health Care Plan  16.9
  • III.  CLAIMS BASED ON STATE STATUTES
    • A.  Medi-Cal  16.10
      • 1.  Duty to Notify DHS  16.11
      • 2.  Attorney Fees and Costs  16.12
      • 3.  Compromising the Claim  16.13
    • B.  County Services to Indigents and Children  16.14
    • C.  Hospital Lien Act  16.15
  • IV.  CLAIMS BASED ON FEDERAL STATUTES
    • A.  Medicare  16.16
    • B.  Medical Care Recovery Act: Injured Service Personnel  16.17

Selected Developments

January 2019 Update

We updated all of the citations in the book and reviewed developments for relevant changes. Among the changes we found were the following:

Bodily Injury

An injured plaintiff who choses to receive medical services outside of their insurance plan will be treated as “uninsured” and may recover the full amount billed. See §1.20 for discussion of Pebley v Santa Clara Organics, LLC (2018) 22 CA5th 1266.

For awards under CCP §998, there is a split in authority over whether defendants may recover expert witness fees when claims were not frivolous. See §1.106A for discussion of Arave v Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (2018) 19 CA5th 525.

Survival Actions

See §4.13 for discussion of recovery of the reasonable cost or value of personal services to and from the decedent in Williams v The Pep Boys Manny Moe & Jack of Cal. (2018) 26 CA5th 672.

Emotional Distress

Postmajority psychological injury claims against government entities arising from sexual assault as a minor must comply with government tort claim presentment requirements to be viable. The extension of statute of limitations under CCP §340.1 does not extend the time for presenting a government tort claim to a public entity and does not delay accrual or cause the action to reaccrue for purposes of presentment. See Rubenstein v Doe No. 1 (2017) 3 C5th 903, discussed in §6.20.

Intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) claims arising from unlawful discrimination and retaliation in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act are outside the workers’ compensation bargain, and immunity under Lab C §§3600 and 3602 is no defense. See Light v Department of Parks and Recreation (2017) 14 CA5th 75, discussed in §6.23.

Defamation

Defamation damages did not extend to an internet publisher entitled to immunity under 47 USC §230(c)(1), and the publisher was not required to remove the defamatory post. See §8.6 for discussion of Hassell v Bird (2018) 5 C5th 522.

Invasion of Privacy

Not every assertion of a privacy interest under Cal Const, art I, §1 must be overcome by a compelling interest. When lesser interests are at stake, the interest in disclosure is balanced against the privacy interest, the seriousness of the invasion, and the availability of alternatives or protective measures. See Williams v Superior Court (2017) 3 C5th 531, discussed in §9.2.

Vehicles and Other Personal Property

Business cannot recover economic loss under negligence theory without accompanying property damage, personal injury, or special relationship. See Southern California Gas Leak Cases (2017) 18 CA5th 581, discussed in §13.15. In CRST, Inc. v Superior Court (2017) 11 CA5th 1255, the court held that an employer that is vicariously liable may be liable for punitive damages if the employer was aware of an employee’s unfitness and employed him or her anyway. See §15.17.

About the Second Edition Authors

PAUL PEYRAT, legal writer and educator, was the author of the predecessor of this current volume. For CEB, he has also authored California Tort Guide, now in its third edition, California Workers’ Damages Practice, now in its second, and chapters and parts of other CEB books. Based in Sonoma, he is a managing editor and 40-year contributor to the monthly publication California Workers’ Compensation Reporter. He received his B.A. in 1955 and his J.D. in 1958 from the University of Minnesota.

THE HONORABLE MARY E. WISS currently has a civil assignment at the San Francisco Superior Court. Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Wiss was a sole practitioner in San Francisco, specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, medical negligence, and product liability law. She is a past president of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and of Queen’s Bench. Judge Wiss frequently lectures for CEB on torts, evidence, and trial practice topics. She received her B.A. in 1972 from the University of San Francisco, her M.S. in 1976 from Lone Mountain College, and her J.D. in 1981 from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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