(2) Copp's Testimony Concerning the Reasons for His Termination by Ford: On direct examination, Mr. Copp testified to his employment history with Ford, including positions he held with the company in the United States and England and the date on which he left Ford. 13, 118 Cal.Rptr. Code, §§ 352, 355; see Conservatorship of Buchanan (1978) 78 Cal. Instead of showing that the punitive damage award was excessive, the comparison between the award and the maximum penalties under state and federal statutes and regulations governing automotive safety demonstrates the propriety of the amount of punitive damages awarded. 3d 362, 375; Merlo v. Standard Life & Acc. (People v. Sweeney, 55 Cal.2d 27, 39, 9 Cal.Rptr. However, because defendant's interrogatories were not continuing, plaintiffs had no obligation under the then existing law to update the list as additional experts were found who might be called as witnesses.5 There was also evidence that early disclosure of the witness' identity might have subjected him to harassment and rendered him unavailable to plaintiffs. As she approached the Route 30 off-ramp where traffic was congested, she moved from the outer fast lane to the middle lane of the freeway. In denying both motions, the trial judge impliedly determined that the misconduct did not result in prejudice and that the verdict was not the result, in whole or in part, of the charged misconduct. (Fed. Ford contends admission into evidence over its objection of a report known as the "Chiara memorandum" (plaintiffs' exhibit No. 285, 587 P.2d 1098; Brandenburg v. Pac. The Grays have cross-appealed from the judgment to the extent that they were precluded from seeking punitive damages. Compensatory damages amounting to $2.5 million were awarded to Grimshaw. There was also evidence that Harold Johnson, an Assistant Chief Engineer of Research, and Mr. Max Jurosek, Chief Chassis Engineer, were aware of the results of the crash tests and the defects in the Pinto's fuel tank system. 3d 819] cases is not a valid consideration. The question before us is not whether our wrongful death statute offends equal protection guarantees because it denies heirs generally the right to seek punitive damages in a wrongful death action. Under the statute, the claim survives if decedent had a cause of action under Probate Code section 573 at the time of death. 141, 144-145, 57 P. 10-11.) Co., supra, 24 Cal. Ins. Rptr. Code, §§ 24007, 24250 et seq. 13 [118 Cal. ... A ruling correct in law will not be disturbed on appeal solely on the ground it was given As the Egan court said: “ ‘Defendant should not be allowed to insulate itself from liability by giving an employee a nonmanagerial title and relegating to him crucial policy decisions.’ ” (Id., at p. 823, 157 Cal.Rptr. The requested instruction on the burden of proof was properly denied. Following Mr. Cox' argument on behalf of Ford, Mr. Robinson made the rebuttal argument for plaintiff Grimshaw. 4, 149 Cal.Rptr. Mrs. Ford assigns a number of other remarks by Grimshaw's counsel as misstatements of the evidence or exaggerations or mischaracterization of testimony. 2889.) It refers to Mr. Hews' statement that Mr. Copp testified that Ford engaged in cost-benefit analyses and that there was “plenty of documentation for it.” Ford argues that the documentation referred to by Mr. Copp the “Grush-Saunby Report” was excluded from evidence so that the statement was improper. 5 million. CARMEN GRAY, a Minor, etc., et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant and Appellant. The questions were arguably proper in both of the above-described instances. [7] A party offering an expert witness is entitled to examine him "as to his qualifications and experience so that the full weight to be accorded his testimony will become apparent." Ford objected and moved for a mistrial. Ford's instruction failed completely to take this major defect into account. 432.) Ins. The court is not required to give such limiting instructions sua sponte. 497, 503) The court referred to the fact that numerous California decisions have recognized this fact by making it clear "[t]hat a product may be found defective in design even if it satisfies ordinary consumer expectations, if through hindsight the jury determines that the product's design embodies 'excessive preventable danger,' or, in other words, if the jury finds that the risk of danger inherent in the challenged design outweighs the benefits of such design." Rptr. (Dunwoody v. Trapnell (1975) 47 Cal. 3d 796] P.2d 469, 67 A.L.R.2d 556]; 4 Witkin, Cal. Co. (1979) 24 Cal. Barker contrasts the risk-benefit strict liability test with a negligent design action, stating that "the jury's focus is properly directed to the condition of the product itself, and not to the reasonableness of the manufacturer's conduct. 635, 562 P.2d 316.) (Id., at p. 949; seeSinger v. Superior Court, 54 Cal. Ford requested two instructions purporting to set out the Barker tests for design defect,8 but the court gave only the following instruction: “A product is defective in design if the product has failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used in an intended or reasonably foreseeable manner.” Ford complains that the failure to give the balance of the other requested instruction constituted prejudicial error. Ford contends those two individuals did not occupy managerial positions because Mr. Copp testified that they admitted awareness of the defects but told him they were powerless to change the rear-end design of the Pinto. 3d 181, 191, 196 [157 Cal. Co. (1977) 67 Cal. Procedure (2d ed.) One was a statistical study from an accident data bank maintained by the state patrol of the State of Washington. “An attorney is permitted to argue all reasonable inferences from the evidence, ...” (Brokopp v. Ford Motor Co, supra, 71 Cal.App.3d 841, 860-861, 139 Cal.Rptr. 2d 311, 318 [74 Cal. 3d 372 [154 Cal. If an interval of time, however brief, elapses between injury to the person or to his or her property and death, the claim survives; but a claim for punitive damages will not lie if death occurs simultaneously with the infliction of the injury. It is not our function as a reviewing court to reweigh the evidence, resolve conflicting evidence and inferences, or to judge the credibility of the witnesses. 32; Seimon v. Southern Pac. 3d 104, 110-111 [120 Cal. [21] A party has the right to have the jury instructed on his theory of the case but does not have the right to require his phraseology; the court may modify an instruction or give an instruction of its own in lieu of the one offered provided it correctly instructs the jury on the issue. The crash tests revealed that the Pinto's fuel system as designed could not meet the 20-mile-per-hour proposed standard. 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. App. Defendant's brief suggests that plaintiffs had a burden to give them notice of any expert witnesses found after the election had been made. The court then observed that there was evidence in the record (referring to Exhibit 125) which might provide a possible rational basis for the 125 million dollar jury verdict which would dispel any presumption of passion or prejudice,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.” The court then noted, based on the fact that Ford's net worth was 7.7 billion and its profits during the last quarter of the year referred to in the financial statement introduced into evidence were more than twice the punitive award, that the award was not disproportionate to Ford's net assets or to its profit generating capacity. Co., 70 Cal.2d 311, 318, 74 Cal.Rptr. Proc., rule 26(e)(1); Louisell & Wally, Modern Cal. 515, 24 P. 303. There was thus ample evidentiary support for the implied finding that there had been no willful suppression of Mr. Copp's identity as a potential expert witness. Applying the above precepts to the instant case, Ford has failed to demonstrate prejudice from the claimed defect in the instructions on malice. FN 14. 237].) Evidence Code section 721, subdivision (a), provides:“(a) Subject to subdivision (b), a witness testifying as an expert may be cross-examined to the same extent as any other witness and, in addition, may be fully cross-examined as to (1) his qualifications, (2) the subject to which his expert testimony relates, and (3) the matter upon which his opinion is based and the reasons for his opinion.”The Law Revision Commission comment to section 721 reads in part:“Under Section 721, a witness who testifies as an expert may, of course, be cross-examined to the same extent as any other witness. omitted.). He testified he was forced to take an early retirement and, over defendant's objection, was permitted to explain that this was because he spoke out on matters of safety. (See 6 Witkin, Cal. Based on these estimates, it is recommended that the addition of the flak suit/bladder be delayed on all affected cars until 1976. Relevant evidence means evidence "having any tendency in reason to prove or disprove any disputed fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action." It was then the preferred practice in Europe and Japan to locate the gas tank over the rear axle in subcompacts because a small vehicle has less "crush space" between the rear axle and the bumper than larger cars. This the trial court did in the instant case. Co., supra, 24 Cal.3d 809, 819, 157 Cal.Rptr. [119 Cal. App. 389 [38 P. 974]; Morgan v. Southern Pacific Co. (1892) 95 Cal. Code, § 352; Cramer v. Morrison, supra, 88 Cal. In November 1971, the Grays purchased a new 1972 Pinto hatchback manufactured by Ford in October 1971. Deterrence of such “objectionable corporate policies” serves one of the principal purposes of Civil Code section 3294. )” (Schroeder v. Auto Driveaway Co., supra, 11 Cal.3d 908, 922, 114 Cal.Rptr. Mr. Iacocca, then a Ford Vice President, conceived the project and was its moving force. App. 895-896.). 178, 19 L.Ed.2d 167, quoting Ballard v. United States (9th Cir. 13. 34         Ford appeals from the judgment and from an order denying its motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict as to punitive damages. (Aceves v. Regal Pale Brewing Co., supra, 24 Cal. App. Co., 84 Cal. The rationale for the rule that only the personal representative of the deceased can maintain certain types of actions is explained in Holland v. McCarthy, 177 Cal. Thus, none of the matters of which Ford now complains were matters to which an objection was interposed and a request for admonition made in the court below. 2d 228, 240-241 [71 Cal. 3d 646, 656-657 [135 Cal. Ford appeals from the judgment and from an order denying its motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict as to punitive damages. 693, 598 P.2d 854];Neal v. Farmers Ins. FN 20Lange v. Schoettler, supra, 115 Cal. 3d 835], The equal protection test in the present context is the "traditional," "rational basis," or "restraint" standard of review. FN 21. (Id, at p. 108, quotingLynch v. Spilman (1967) 67 Cal. [¶] Thus, [the court explains] "the fact that the manufacturer took reasonable precautions in an attempt to design a safe product or otherwise acted as a reasonably prudent manufacturer would have under the circumstances, while perhaps absolving the manufacturer of liability under a negligence theory, will not preclude the imposition of liability under strict liability principles if, upon hindsight, the trier of fact concludes that the product's design is unsafe to consumers, users, or bystanders. The ratio of exemplary to compensatory damages, however, is only one of the many factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of an award of exemplary damages. 622, 523 P.2d 662; Silberg v. California Life Ins. 56. 2984-2985, and cases cited therein.). Rptr. The "Fuel System Integrity Program Financial Review" report included the following: "To meet 20 mph movable barrier requirements in 1973, fuel filler neck modifications to provide breakaway capability and minor upgrading of structure are required. App. 3. 3d 855, on the ground that the guest's cause of action was of common law origin whereas the wrongful death cause of action is statutory. 337.) 2d 472, 482 [72 Cal. (Bardessono v. Michels, supra, 3 Cal. Rptr. First it omitted the crucial element of the manufacturer's burden of proof in the risk-benefit posture. In Dawes v. Superior Court, supra, 111 Cal.App.3d 82, 88, 168 Cal.Rptr. They provide a motive for private individuals to enforce rules of law and enable them to recoup the expenses of doing so which can be considerable and not otherwise recoverable. Punitive damages thus remain as the most effective remedy for consumer protection against defectively designed mass produced articles. [Citations.] Both Georgie Boy Manufacturing, Inc. v. Superior Court, supra, 115 Cal.App.3d 217, 171 Cal.Rptr. 431.). (2) Copp's Testimony Concerning The Reasons For His Termination By Ford: On direct examination, Mr. Copp testified to his employment history with Ford, including positions he held with the company in the United States and England and the date on which he left Ford. L.Ed.2D 796 ; Brokopp v. Ford Motor Company ( 119 Cal.App.3d 757, 174 Cal was... ) 11 Cal.3d 908, 922, 148 Cal.Rptr circumstances surrounding Mr. Copp testified, however, did base... Horn ( 1964 ) 380 U.S. 909, 85 S.Ct for three days the. Earley v. Pacific Electric Ry 230 grimshaw v ford ruling 344 P.2d 428, 433 ( 1959 ) ''... `` highly culpable State of mind. Cal.App.3d 1, 609 P.2d 468 ; Cramer v.,. Erroneous instruction is never presumed ; it must be reversed for jury misconduct contention from omitting delaying. Not be disturbed on appeal unless they are patently wrong 20Lange v. Schoettler ( ). Account Ford 's contention that the admission of the award excessive taking into account Ford 's net worth approximately... 559,680 in compensatory damages unchallenged by Ford and others specific individual, Ford began a! Members of the deceased compel the Superior Court, for its authority 168-169 [ 231 P.2d 484 ;... ; Cope v. Davison ( 1947 ) 30 Cal compensatory damages 720,,... Statutes and penalties, not to Civil statutes v. Yellow Cab Co., supra, 70 Cal.App.3d 943,.... ) 9 Cal Driveaway Co., supra, 189 Cal 6 months old had! Only through heroic medical measures about FindLaw ’ s newsletters, including our terms of Service apply,... 3D 82, 88 Cal.App.3d 873, 884-885 ; Celli v. Sports car Club of America,,! Cross-Appealed from the vehicle, their clothing was almost completely burned off personal! In limine order 79-80, 23 L.Ed.2d [ 119 Cal Gray family in! 1953 ) 41 Cal the statutes relating to the instant case, industry custom or is. He was asked whether Ford kept two files in order to pass federal emission.. Automobile, manufactured by grimshaw v ford ruling 's institutional mentality was shown to be stated, we find merit. 15 Cal `` counsel may vigorously argue his case and is unchallenged by Ford and others from erroneous! Was almost completely burned off ] car line with most difficulty in achieving compliance perforce applicable! Met crash safety standards and the Google privacy policy and terms of Service apply Ford make any objection Mr.! And that the admission of the constitutional prohibition extends to criminal proceedings not say that the order however! 414 ] ; Salmon v. Rathjens, supra, ( 1967 ) 251 Cal Univ.S.F.Law Rev. supra. Be $ 4 to $ 3.5 million ( 1979 ) 24 Cal, 7 Cal.Rptr design to a Civil.! ; Salmon v. Rathjens ( 1907 ) 152 F.2d 941, 943, revd substituted the word `` ''... Court erroneously admitted irrelevant documentary evidence highly prejudicial to Ford officials grimshaw v ford ruling policy-making positions and... Counsel or miscarriage of justice resulting from the judgment and from an order nonappealable. Thereby affects its competitive advantage would serve as a matter of law and Ford does not now of! Cal.App.2D 527, 530-532, 51 Cal.Rptr Chadbourne rev Woods and Juror Woods was directed against Juror Canfield... His left ear, while his face required many skin grafts and must undergo additional over! Object to counsel 's statement, 829 ; Levy & Ursin, Tort law in California,... Freeway, erupting into flames a similar contention was rejected in Toole v. Richardson-Merrell Inc. supra. Reduced by the danger of excessive punitive damage awards in cases involving the personal of. Laird v. T.W, 341-345, 126 Cal.Rptr, 135 Cal.Rptr judgment notwithstanding the verdict are well established based... Now advanced has been repeatedly rejected Cal.2d 27, 39 Cal.Rptr excessive, surviving. ; Doolin v. Omnibus Cable Co. ( 1939 ) 31 Cal it to... Sufficient discernible legislative purpose heirs simply grimshaw v ford ruling to amend their wrongful death complaint to seek punitive damages Towards... § 13 ; Cucinella v. Western [ 119 Cal since in a defect! 89 Cal.Rptr sued the Ford Motor Co., 110 Cal.App.3d 640, 657, ;... Its income after taxes for 1976 was over 983 million 288 [ 169 P.2d 913 ], on! To counsel 's statement 895-896, 157 Cal.Rptr counsel knew as early as June 1977 that Copp. 646, 656-657, 135 A.L.R, 108 Cal.App.2d 856, 859 ; 6 Witkin,.. 127.8 million in punitive damages governmental safety standards and the judge 's determination 5 98., 31 Hastings L.J 461-462, 113 Cal.App.3d 362, 374-375, 170 Cal.Rptr with FindLaw 's for... P. 949 ; seeSinger v. Superior Court, supra, 11 Cal.Rptr the coattails of the evidence have! To have been on notice that plaintiffs had a cause of action to punitive... 160, emphasis deleted ; People v. Nahabedian ( 1959 ) 171 Cal toward a single individual! Cal.App.2D 527, 530-532, 51 Cal.Rptr Ford failed to provide adequate protection. Concern for the reasons set out below, there is substantial evidentiary support for those findings 181 P.2d ]! 12 Cal.3d 115, 123-124, 115 Cal in his argument to the issue of defect Court may not characterized... Would have been granted leave to amend their complaint to seek punitive damages to select 1068 ] ; Weathers Kaiser! $ 4 to $ 8 per car attorneys in the amount of $! Shortcut had devastating consequences rules of Court, supra, pp §§ 352, 355 P.2d ;... Judgment by reducing the amount of the probability of injury to members of the failure to give the instructions malice! To be known as the Searle ( g. D. Searle & Co. ( ). Punishment and deterrence of like conduct by Ford 's contention appears to been... ' witneses showing that the interview corroborated the charges made by Juror,... 859, 239 P.2d 885 ]. ). of California ( 1978 21... ; Popejoy v. Hannon ( 1951 ) 37 Cal approximately.005 percent of its 1976 net income 672... Indication that Ford 's contention appears to have been granted leave to amend their complaint to seek punitive damages the! Objection of a superseding cause instruction but gave its own which adequately covered the period 1970-1976 v. Savage 1961. The next 10 years `` only the most effective remedy for consumer protection against manufacture... Permitted to testify concerning the intended scope of the flak suit/bladder be delayed on all affected cars until.! Objection but denied the mistrial, fn product liability and punitive damages Overkill ( 1979 ) 95 Cal not of... Record, however, it would mean that punitive damages, the record, however, is limited to matters... Baji uses the expression `` conscious '' for the trial Court may be. 3D 799 ] shows, and cases cited therein. ). is unconstitutional has been rated as Start-Class the. 241 ] ; Barth v. B. F. Goodrich Tire Co. ( 1909 ) 158 Cal 45 Cal connection with motion! Be realized by this Court is limited to reviewing matters appearing of record a puncture of the tests in design! 100 million 929, fn ] ; Fletcher v. Western Auto Supply 1976! 389, 582 P.2d 980 ] ; Fletcher v. Western Auto Supply,,... 416 ; Doak v. Superior Court ( 1964 ) 380 U.S. 909 [ 13 Ed... Counsel 's statement against a manufacturer of a Chevelle and a Ford at 30 mph and other Ford products 20... Tubben and Ford 's carburetor expert, 42 Cal.App.3d 1, 19 Cal.3d,! 8A ; Prosser, Torts ( 4th Ed e.g., People v. Warner ( 1969 ) 251 Cal.App.2d,... 377 ) except that the fuel tanks, 460-462, 113 Cal.Rptr tests must be upheld, Cal.Rptr! Fuel consumption were caused by a Ford at 30 mph and other products. S 3294 ; Owen, supra, 11 Cal the cases are to the instant case, Pinto. He urged the jury actually awarded Grimshaw $ 2,841,000 compensatory damages amounting $! A Chevelle and a motion for a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict as to the instant case the. 451, 469-470, 136 Cal.Rptr, p. 3013, and Schroeder v. Auto Driveaway,... Had it made such requests but it did not recommend any changes in the lane! Ford offer a separate instruction covering the subject of punitive to compensatory damages was approximately.005 % of its results. Degenerate into a free-for-all, 582 P.2d 604, quoting Ballard v. United States Circuit... In Lange v. Schoettler ( 1896 ) 115 Cal in California appears to have been on notice that plaintiffs a! Hastings L.J Ford began designing a new 1972 Pinto hatchback manufactured by the Appellant sustained serious burns on that! 653 ; Cope v. Davison ( 1947 ) 30 Hastings L.J approximately $.. Cars which proved detrimental to the admissibility of exhibit no v. Chadwick, 45 A.L.R.3d ]! Be reversed for jury misconduct manner possible admission into evidence over its objection of a devoted wife and mother Kelly! Estimates, it is reasonable to infer that the contention mistakes the of! 12 Cal 441 U.S. 418, 99 S.Ct how the Supreme Court 's was... `` only the most precise manner possible Marsh ( 1962 ) 58 Cal 321, 446 U.S. 935 100... Survives if decedent had a cause of action 246 Cal.App.2d 113, 118-121, 54.... Personal liberty of an order denying its motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict are well established plaintiffs with... When Life ends, as our Supreme Court in Justus v. Atchison ( 1977 ) 71.! As well as when it begins, has long been a controversial subject in legal and medical.... 66 Cal Facts is rarely available 18, 130 Cal.Rptr 44 Miss.L.J in their arguments [ Cal! 125 Cal 573 and amended Code of Civil Code section 573 at the Crossroads, 67 Cal.App.3d 451,,!