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CACI INSTRUCTIONS

3947. Punitive Damages - Individual and Entity Defendants - Trial Not Bifurcated

If you decide that [name of individual defendant]’s or [name of entity defendant]’s conduct caused [name of plaintiff] harm, you must decide whether that conduct justifies an award of punitive damages. The purposes of punitive damages are to punish a wrongdoer for the conduct that harmed the plaintiff and to discourage similar conduct in the future.

You may award punitive damages against [name of individual defendant] only if [name of plaintiff] proves by clear and convincing evidence that [name of individual defendant] engaged in that conduct with malice, oppression, or fraud.

You may award punitive damages against [name of entity defendant] only if [name of plaintiff] proves that [name of entity defendant] acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. To do this, [name of plaintiff] must prove [one of] the following by clear and convincing evidence:
1. [That the malice, oppression, or fraud was conduct of one or more officers, directors, or managing agents of [name of entity defendant], who acted on behalf of [name of entity defendant]; [or]]
2. [That an officer, a director, or a managing agent of [name of entity defendant] had advance knowledge of the unfitness of [name of individual defendant] and employed [him/her] with a knowing disregard of the rights or safety of others;
[or]]
3. [That the conduct constituting malice, oppression, or fraud was authorized by one or more officers, directors, or managing agents of [name of entity defendant]; [or]]
4. [That one or more officers, directors, or managing agents of [name of entity defendant] knew of the conduct constituting malice, oppression, or fraud and adopted or approved that conduct after it occurred.]

“Malice” means that a defendant acted with intent to cause injury or that a defendant’s conduct was despicable and was done with a willful and knowing disregard of the rights or safety of another. A defendant acts with knowing disregard when the defendant is aware of the probable dangerous consequences of [his/her/its] conduct and deliberately fails to avoid those consequences.

“Oppression” means that a defendant’s conduct was despicable and subjected [name of plaintiff] to cruel and unjust hardship in knowing disregard of [his/her] rights.

“Despicable conduct” is conduct that is so vile, base, or contemptible that it would be looked down on and despised by reasonable people.

“Fraud” means that a defendant intentionally misrepresented or concealed a material fact and did so intending to harm [name of plaintiff].

An employee is a “managing agent” if he or she exercises substantial independent authority and judgment in his or her corporate decisionmaking such that his or her decisions ultimately determine corporate policy.

There is no fixed formula for determining the amount of punitive damages, and you are not required to award any punitive damages. If you decide to award punitive damages, you should consider all of the following factors separately for each defendant in determining the amount:
(a) How reprehensible was that defendant’s conduct? In deciding how reprehensible a defendant’s conduct was, you may consider, among other factors:
1. Whether the conduct caused physical harm;
2. Whether the defendant disregarded the health or safety of others;
3. Whether [name of plaintiff] was financially weak or vulnerable and the defendant knew [name of plaintiff] was financially weak or vulnerable and took advantage of [him/her];
4. Whether the defendant’s conduct involved a pattern or practice; and
5. Whether the defendant acted with trickery or deceit.
(b) Is there a reasonable relationship between the amount of punitive damages and [name of plaintiff]’s harm [or between the amount of punitive damages and potential harm to [name of plaintiff] that the defendant knew was likely to occur because of [his/her/its] conduct]?
(c) In view of that defendant’s financial condition, what amount is necessary to punish [him/her/it] and discourage future wrongful conduct? You may not increase the punitive award above an amount that is otherwise appropriate merely because a defendant has substantial financial resources. [Any award you impose may not exceed that defendant’s ability to pay.]

[Punitive damages may not be used to punish a defendant for the impact of [his/her/its] alleged misconduct on persons other than [name of plaintiff].]

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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