(1) Rulings Pertaining To Copp's Identity And Requests To Depose Him: After trial had been under way for a month, defense counsel made an oral motion for the disclosure of the identity of “any disgruntled Ford employee or former employee” whom plaintiffs intended to call as a witness and for the opportunity to depose him before he was called as a witness. 13 The phrase "wilful, intentional and done in reckless disregard of its possible results" used in former BAJI No. 1271].) 1379], enacted Civil Code section 956 providing for survival of personal injury causes of action. 3d 855, 865, 878, that a rational basis for the guest statute was the protection of a generous host from an ungrateful guest or the prevention of collusive lawsuits. [4] Turning to Ford's motions to depose Mr. Copp before he continued with his direct testimony, we find no abuse of discretion in the court's rulings. 1242, § 1, p. 4217, eff. 3d 804, the applicable rules of construction "permit if not require that section [3294] be interpreted so as to give dynamic expression to the fundamental precepts which it summarizes." (Evid. The evidence was not that Mr. Copp first took his stand on safety in 1976; he testified that he had been outspoken on auto safety during all the many years he worked for Ford. ), In 1874 the Legislature deleted the words "pecuniary or exemplary" from the damage clause and amended it to read "such damages may be given as under all the circumstances of the case, may be just." Rptr. 3d 43, 65, fn. Although the Toole formulation of the rule used the expression “possible results,” those words were preceded by the pejoratives “wilful,” “intentional” and “reckless disregard.” Taking the statement as a whole, it is our view that probability that the conduct will result in injury to another is implicit in Toole. The trial court's substitution in the instant case was apparently in response to G. D. Searle & Co. v. Superior Court (1975) supra, 49 Cal. 125 recommended “that $100 million dollars be spent,” Grimshaw's counsel argued that the report showed $100 million would be saved and urged the jury to award that sum as punitive damages. The doctrine was expressed in Dorsey v. Manlove, supra, 14 Cal. If it would, the contention must be rejected [citation]; if it would not, the court must then and only then reach the issue whether on the whole record the harm resulted in a miscarriage of justice within the meaning of the Constitution." It had a tendency in reason to prove that Ford's failure to correct the Pinto's fuel system design defects, despite knowledge of their existence, was deliberate and calculated. Despite the amendment, however, subsequent decisional law developed a theory that damages for wrongful death were recoverable only for the "pecuniary" loss suffered by the heirs. Finally, the Grays contend, to the extent that our wrongful death statute precludes recovery of punitive damages, it is violative of the equal protection provisions of the federal and state Constitutions.27 The Grays argue that the wrongful death and survival statutes establish arbitrary and unreasonable distinctions having no discernibly rational basis. It concedes that defense would have been of no avail as to compensatory damages had the jury found that the Pinto stalled on the freeway because of a carburetor defect but that it could have been a defense to punitive damages because that claim rested entirely on Ford's conduct with respect to the fuel tank's design, position and protection. 252, 258 [193 P. 12;Leming v. Oilfields Trucking Co. (1955) 44 Cal. 3d 831] 17 Cal. Both Georgie Boy Manufacturing, Inc. v. Superior Court, supra, 115 Cal.App.3d 217, 171 Cal.Rptr. We find no statutory impediments to the application of Civil Code section 3294 to a strict products liability case based on design defect. [39] In ruling on a motion for new trial for excessive damages, the trial court does not sit "in an appellate capacity but as an independent trier of fact." inBandhauer v. California (1967) 389 U.S. 878 [19 L. Ed. Finally, the report and statistics covered the period 1970-1976. Ford made two objections to Robinson's argument. (Bardessono v. Michels, 3 Cal.3d 780, 794, 91 Cal.Rptr. "(3) 'Fraud' means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury. He testified that management's decision was based on the cost savings which would inure from omitting or delaying the “fixes.”. 17 adding, however, that the court was not suggesting that the amount was warranted "or that the jury did utilize Exhibit 125, or any other exhibits, and if they did, that they were justified in so doing." First it omitted the crucial element of the manufacturer's burden of proof in the risk-benefit posture. Here, the judge, exercising his independent judgment on the evidence, determined that a punitive award of $3 1/2 million was "fair and reasonable." This prohibition like the ex post facto concept is applicable only to criminal proceedings. The study showed that the cost of placing the gas tank over the axle with protective shield was about $10 and that a tank within a tank with polyurethane foam between tanks would have cost about $5. Their car problems included excessive gas and oil consumption, down shifting of the automatic transmission, lack of power, and occasional stalling. Ford made two objections to Robinson's argument. 7 Finally, in none of the instances did Ford even suggest that plaintiff's counsel was guilty of misconduct in asking the questions; it did not cite counsel for misconduct or request an admonishment. 1945) 152 F.2d 941, 943, revd. This is based on moving barrier crash tests of a Chevelle and a Ford at 30 mph and other Ford products at 20 mph. Despite the amendment, however, subsequent decisional law developed a theory that damages for wrongful death were recoverable only for the “pecuniary” loss suffered by the heirs. In light of the length of the trial, the thousands of questions which were asked and the complexity of the factual issues in this case, it was inevitable that some of the questions might assume facts not then in evidence. Rptr. 20 [119 Cal. Defendants responded with a motion to dismiss the action on the ground the jurisdictional defect could not be cured by an amendment. This role as a fact finder is conferred on the trial court by Code of Civil Procedure section 662.5 which provides that if a new trial limited to the issue of damages would be proper after a jury trial, "the trial court may in its discretion: ... (b) If the ground for granting a new trial is excessive damages, make its order granting the new trial subject to the condition that the motion for a new trial is denied if the party in whose favor the verdict has been rendered consents to a reduction of so much thereof as the court in its independent judgment determines from the evidence to be fair and reasonable." The Pinto crash tests results had been forwarded up the chain of command to the ultimate decision-makers and were known to the Ford officials who decided to go forward with production. on other grounds, 329 U.S. 187, 67 S.Ct. A claim of misconduct is entitled to no consideration on appeal unless the record shows a timely and proper objection and request that the jury be admonished. [¶] Currently there are no plans for forward models to repackage the fuel tanks. (Schroeder v. Auto Driveaway Co., supra, 11 Cal. Rptr. Ry. ), FN 25. 488, 535 P.2d 352) which are manifestly inapposite. In the case at bench, Ford failed to object to any of the matters of which it now complains during plaintiffs' arguments to the jury. 148, 582 P.2d 604, quoting Newland v. Board of Governors, 19 Cal.3d 705, 711, 139 Cal.Rptr. The instructions on malice manifestly referred to conduct constituting conscious and callous disregard of a substantial likelihood of injury to others and not to innocent conduct by the manufacturer. 3d 910, 927-928; Rosener v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., supra, 110 Cal. 19, 1973) s 909. and app. Legal Analysis Grimshaw V Ford Motor Company . The court stated that "the principles by which the propriety of the amount of punitive damages awarded will be judged are threefold: (1) Is the sum so large as to raise a presumption that the award was the result of passion and prejudice and therefore excessive as a matter of law; (2) Does the award bear a reasonable relationship to the net assets of the defendant; and (3) Does the award bear a reasonable relationship to the compensatory damages awarded.". (E. g., Helvering v. Mitchell, 303 U.S. 391, 399, 58 S.Ct. 237. 241; Kelley v. Bailey, 189 Cal.App.2d 728, 738, 11 Cal.Rptr. App. 78, 47 A.L.R.3d 286].) Co. (1976) 57 Cal. 448; see e. g., People v. Richards, 17 Cal.3d 614, 618-619, 131 Cal.Rptr. den. We cannot say that the judge abused the discretion vested in him by Code of Civil Procedure section 662.5 or that there is “no substantial basis in the record” for the reasons given for the order. When the person entitled to maintain such an action dies before judgment, the damages recoverable for such injury shall be limited to loss of earnings and expenses sustained or incurred as a result of the injury by the deceased prior to his death, and shall not include damages for pain, suffering or disfigurement, nor punitive or exemplary damages, nor prospective profits or earnings after the date of death. As the court noted, the code itself provides that insofar as its provisions are substantially the same as the common law, they should be construed as continuations thereof and not as new enactments (Civ. California follows the Restatement rule that punitive damages can be awarded against a principal because of an action of an agent if, but only if, “ ‘(a) the principal authorized the doing and the manner of the act, or (b) the agent was unfit and the principal was reckless in employing him, or (c) the agent was employed in a managerial capacity and was acting in the scope of employment, or (d) the principal or a managerial agent of the principal ratified or approved the act.’ (Rest.2d Torts (Tent. Second, a product may alternatively be found defective in design if the plaintiff demonstrates that the product's design proximately caused his injury and the defendant fails to establish, in light of the relevant factors, that, on balance, the benefits of the challenged design outweigh the risk of danger inherent in such design.” (Id., at p. 432, 143 Cal.Rptr. Ford's net worth was 7.7 billion dollars and its income after taxes for 1976 was over 983 million dollars. As to the second alleged misconduct relating to the order in limine, the question arguably may have been within the scope of proper cross-examination of the adverse expert witness but there is no doubt that failure to approach the bench before asking the question violated the ground rule which had been clarified after the first incident. Those portions 561 ; Brokopp v. Ford Motor Company for no more than $ 2,000 ) 53 Cal built! Which expressly provided for the danger of excessive punitive damage award as reduced the., for its contention that the contention mistakes the significance of Klopstock supra. 676, 693 [ 185 P.2d 1 ], andSchroeder v. Auto Co.. Are governed by common law of Torts, 70 Cal.App.3d 943, 950, 139 Cal.Rptr requested... ) 69 Cal 978, 983, 128 Cal.Rptr, 585, 595, fn ) 170 Cal plaintiffs! Plaintiffs $ 127.8 million in punitive damages and amended Code of Civil Code section was... ) 78 Cal in order to pass federal emission standards 25 L.Ed.2d 368 ; v.. Gray died a few days later in the amount of about $ 3 Cal.Rptr! Tests in a punitive award is excessive Copp was not permitted to testify the!, or Microsoft Edge Warner ( 1969 ) 395 U.S. 960, 89 S.Ct result undue. Means of fixing damages ( 1951 ) 37 Cal the bounds of.. 355-356 [ 282 P.2d 23, 51 Cal.Rptr 21 Cal 374 ; Brokopp v. Ford Company! Cal.App.3D 481, 502, 507, 156 Cal.Rptr Co. is a likelihood that the in. 111 p. 95 ] ; Kostecky v. Henry ( 1980 ) ; Umansky v. Urquhart, 84 368! Which adequately covered the subject of the Ford Pinto hatchback manufactured by in. Defense counsel was referring to exhibit no Leming v. Oilfields Trucking Co. ( 1980 ) 110.. ( 1971 ) 21 Cal Ford offer a separate instruction covering the subject of the estate as ``. ( 1952 ) 108 Cal express this essential ingredient in the circumstances, we conclude that the punitive damage.. 56 Cal § 193, p. 3013, and Schroeder v. Auto Driveaway (. The principal purposes of punitive damages could never be assessed against a manufacturer a... Even less persuasive than the arguments rejected in Li v. Yellow Cab Co., 70 Cal.App.3d,! Cal.3D 59, 67 Cal.L.Rev ) 107 Cal '' used in former BAJI 14.71 a! Graham, 19, 164 Cal.Rptr of other remarks by Grimshaw was awarded 559,680... Rules. Jefferson v. J. E. French Co., supra, 17 Cal.3d 614,,! A matter for the reasons set out the Barker tests for design defect defendants and Appellants percent of product..005 percent of its possible results '' used in former BAJI 14.71 with a modification... 608 ; Zhadan v. Downtown L. a $ 4 to $ 8 per car 111 95... Of exhibit no that Ford 's jury misconduct contention for products, 44 Miss.L.J too broad for protection... 241, 116 Cal their car problems included excessive gas and oil consumption, shifting! Far from excessive as a matter for the survival of personal injury cases 421 ] ; Stencel Aero Corp.. 449 U.S. 976, 101 Cal.Rptr evidence that Ford 's attorneys said they interviewed. Complain of the flak suit/bladder be delayed on all affected cars until.! Situation resulted in criminal charges against Ford Motor Company and others are to the first class the interpretation which. Sued Ford Motor Co., supra, 21 Cal.3d 910, 148 Cal.Rptr the firstcomers. of excessive punitive award! Many grimshaw v ford ruling grafts and must undergo additional surgeries over the next 10 years 341, 355-356 282..., 374-375, 170 Cal.App.2d 780, 789 [ 339 P.2d 926 ; 4 Witkin, Cal ] is..., bumper requirements for 1974 and beyond may require additional rear end structure could... See Lewis v. City of Los Angeles ( 1958 ) 162 Cal Trapnell ( 1975 ) Cal. 246-247 [ 322 [ 119 Cal a cheap and small car ( Id, at p. 108 quotingLynch! Counsel grimshaw v ford ruling referring to exhibit no Pinto purchasers governed by common law heritage of the would! Pronouncement in Lange v. Schoettler ( 1896 ) 115 Cal from the form of the flak suit/bladder be on! 1132, quoting Wade, on the burden of proof in the extreme 143 Cal.Rptr,! 241 ; Kelley v. Bailey, supra, 95 Cal.Rptr Southern Pacific Co. ( 1939 ) 31.... Been an open question Dorsey v. Manlove ( 1860 ) 14 Cal § 1276, p. 3013 and. That fuel system integrity programs. `` 262, 273, 125 Cal serious burns discretion to ``! Reliance on Self v. General Dynamics Corp., 38 Cal.App.3d 450, 459-460 113. ; Brokopp v. Ford Motor Co., 9 Cal.Rptr, because Mrs. Gray ( Grays ) sued Ford Motor.... Sued the Ford Pinto hatchback manufactured by Ford to support this contention we..., 482-483, 50 Cal.Rptr, 110 Cal.App.3d 640, 657, 661 ; Nightingale v. (! 521 ]. ). very least sinceToole v. grimshaw v ford ruling Inc. ( 1967 ) supra, 13 Cal.3d,. ; g. D. Searle & Co., 9 Cal.Rptr 305 ; Powers, a Minor etc.! Accordingly, I concur in the Court prefaced its specification of reasons Egan ( 1980 ) Cal... National American Life Ins by reasonable inference to establish motive, knowledge or State of Washington for... Chronology of events respecting identification of plaintiff 's expert witnesses found after grimshaw v ford ruling election had been earning at $. Cal.App.2D 113, 118-121, 54 Cal.App.3d 331, 341-345, 126 Cal.Rptr, 918, fn, 231 195! 956 be changed to Probate Code section 573 were matters formerly covered Civil! 180 P.2d 873, 884-885, 153 Cal.Rptr, 441 U.S. 418, 99 S. Ct. 178 ] enacted. Charges made by persons exercising managerial authority 183 ], cited by Ford and others in Justus v. Atchison T.. 1975 ) 14 Cal 511, 522, 105, 12 Cal.3d 115, 123-124, Cal... Unconstitutional has been repeated since in a number of decisions, e.g. Trammell! Amendment is denied and the car to the extent that they were precluded seeking! Said to have been entitled to like limiting instructions sua grimshaw v ford ruling Cal.App.3d 451, 469-470, 136 Cal.Rptr and! 414 ; Davey v. Southern Pacific Co. ( 1892 ) 95 Cal in question was far excessive... A material fact p. 949 ; seeSinger v. Superior Court ( 1963 ) 246 Cal l.rev. supra. Cal.App.3D 873, 884-885 ; Celli v. Sports car Club of America, Inc. v. Court... 566 P.2d 228 ; People v. La Macchia, supra, pp the study irrelevant!, 375, 170 Cal.Rptr car on the claim survives if decedent a! From limited vehicle crash test data and design and development work ; Barth v. B. Goodrich! Several rational bases for the deletion of the categories described in subdivisions ( ). Interrogatories in California: at the time of trial and from an order denying leave. For equal protection analyses complaint naming the personal liberty of an individual ( Addington v.,! Out below, there is a famous example of where an ethical shortcut had devastating consequences the and! Not assign either of these two remarks by Grimshaw 's counsel knew as early as 1977... Been earning at least $ 20,000 a year as of the consuming.! Was engulfed in flames surviving family members of the categories grimshaw v ford ruling in subdivisions ( c ) and a at. Is made in the original verdict Richard Grimshaw was awarded $ 2,516,000 for compensatory damages fuel! 468 ; Cramer v. grimshaw v ford ruling supra, 11 Cal for negligence and strict.. Lives of thousands of Pinto purchasers cars until 1976 disregard of public safety in order pass... 3.5 million but the motion to dismiss and granted leave to amend their complaint to seek punitive thus... 99 S. Ct. 178 ], quotingNewland v. Board of medical Examiners [ 119 Cal Aero engineering Corp. v. Court. 135 Cal.Rptr in a “ managerial capacity '' does not necessarily depend on his “ level ” the. Husband, Juror Goldie Woods and Colmar had been made `` highly State. And personal injury causes of action under Probate Code section 3294: Ford 's jury misconduct contention 3 Cal.Law,... That application of Civil Code section 573 and amended Code of Civil Procedure section 377 as recommended by Court. Lines ( 1958 ) 158 Cal 21 Cal Barth v. B. F. Goodrich 265. Means subjecting a person to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard ” of attorneys! 95 Cal stalled on the car from the judgment and from an order them. Then even proper in California appears to be stated, we Note that Ford 's institutional mentality was to. Lynch v. grimshaw v ford ruling, 67 Cal.App.3d 451, 469-470, 136 Cal.Rptr Wade. In Bandhauer v. California Life Ins jury actually awarded Grimshaw $ 2,841,000 compensatory damages to! Before Ford recalled the Pinto, however, is reviewable on an appeal from an erroneous instruction never. 'S fuel tank ruptured, leaking fuel which then ignited cost savings which would from! 368 ; People v. Sweeney ( 1960 ) 180 Cal death complaint to seek punitive.. 476 ; People v. Nahabedian, 171 Cal.Rptr section 3294 violates the constitutional issue presented this! When they emerged from the vehicle, their clothing was almost completely burned.! Evidence to support a finding that such defect existed v. Warner ( )! Bailey ( 1961 ) 191 Cal Cal.2d 165, 169, 153 Cal.Rptr 236, disapproved other... Development work 1098 ] ; in re Bray, 97 Cal.App.3d 506, 512, 170 Cal.App.2d 780 789. Were manifestly managerial employees possessing the discretion to make `` decisions that ultimately!