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3922. Wrongful Death (Parents’ Recovery for Death of a Minor Child)

If you decide that [name of plaintiff] has proved [his/her] claim against [name of defendant] for the death of [name of minor], you also must decide how much money will reasonably compensate [name of plaintiff] for the death of [name of minor]. This compensation is called “damages.”

[Name of plaintiff] does not have to prove the exact amount of these damages. However, you must not speculate or guess in awarding damages.

The damages claimed by [name of plaintiff] fall into two categories called economic damages and noneconomic damages. You will be asked to state the two categories of damages separately on the verdict form.

[Name of plaintiff] claims the following economic damages:
1. The value of the financial support, if any, that [name of minor] would have contributed to the family during either the life expectancy that [name of minor] had before [his/her] death or the life expectancy of [Name of plaintiff] , whichever is shorter;
2. The loss of gifts or benefits that [name of plaintiff] could have expected to receive from [name of minor] ;
3. Funeral and burial expenses; and
4. The reasonable value of household services that [name of minor] would have provided.

Your award of any future economic damages must be reduced to present cash value.

[Name of plaintiff] also claims the following noneconomic damages: The loss of [name of minor]’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support. No fixed standard exists for deciding the amount of noneconomic damages. You must use your judgment to decide a reasonable amount based on the evidence and your common sense.

[For these noneconomic damages, determine the amount in current dollars paid at the time of judgment that will compensate [name of plaintiff] for those damages. This amount of noneconomic damages should not be further reduced to present cash value because that reduction should only be performed with respect to future economic damages.]

Do not include in your award any compensation for the following:
1. [name of plaintiff]’s grief, sorrow, or mental anguish; or
2. [name of minor]’s pain and suffering.

In computing these damages, you should deduct the present cash value of the probable costs of [name of minor] ’s support and education.

In deciding a person’s life expectancy, consider, among other factors, that person’s health, habits, activities, lifestyle, and occupation. Life expectancy tables are evidence of a person’s life expectancy but are not conclusive.

[In computing these damages, consider the losses suffered by all plaintiffs and return a verdict of a single amount for all plaintiffs. I will divide the amount [among/between] the plaintiffs.]

CACI are the approved jury instructions from the Judicial Council of California. Jury instructions are read to the jury by the judge and establish the law the jury must follow in deciding the case.A partner of Cheong, Denove, Rowell, Bennett & Hapuarachy has been formally recognized as one of the attorneys who assisted the task force in the preparation of these jury instructions.

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