Pain and Suffering Damages

A plaintiff is entitled to compensatory damages for physical pain and mental suffering that accompany or otherwise result from physical injury. (Capelouto v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (1972) 7 Cal.3d 889, 893.) These injuries constitute the principal elements of tort personal injury damage, and an award failing to compensate an injured plaintiff where pain and suffering was present is inadequate as a matter of law. (Id.)

Pain and suffering is a unitary concept, encompassing all the physical discomfort and emotional trauma occasioned by an injury. (Id.) A plaintiff is entitled to compensatory damages for all physical pain suffered and also for all resulting “fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, mortification, shock, humiliation, indignity, embarrassment, apprehension, terror or ordeal.” (Id.; Potter v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (1993) 6 Cal.4th 965, 981.)

The absence of medical bills or medical testimony will not foreclose a recovery for pain and suffering. (Hilliard v. A. H. Robins Co. (1983) 148 Cal.App.3d 374, 413.) Indeed, even in the absence of any explicit evidence showing pain, the jury may infer pain, if the injury is such that the jury in its common experience knows it is normally accompanied by pain. (Id.)

There is no standard for determining general damages. (Civ. Code of Proc., § 3359.) In fact, “no expert may supply a formula for computing the value of life and, by extrapolation, the value of the loss of enjoyment of life. That calculation, at present, must be left to the sound discretion of the jury.” (Loth v. Truck-A-Way Corp. (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 768.)

“Pain and suffering are not subject to precise measurement by any scale, and their translation into money damages is peculiarly the function of the trier of the facts.” (Singer v. Superior Court (1999) 70 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1320 [quoting Walker v. Superior Court, supra, 53 Cal.3d at p. 269].) “Translating pain and anguish into dollars can, at best, be only an arbitrary allowance, and not a process of measurement, and consequently the judge can, in his instructions, give the jury no standard to go by; he can only tell them to allow such amount as in their discretion they may consider reasonable.... The chief reliance for reaching reasonable results in attempting to value suffering in terms of money must be the restraint and common sense of the jury.” (Loth v. Truck-A-Way Corp. (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 757, 764.) The only guideline is “a reasonable amount based on the evidence and your common sense.” (Greater Westchester Homeowners Ass'n v. City of Los Angeles (1979) 26 Cal.3d 86, 103; Corenbaum v. Lampkin (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 1308, 1332.)

Useful Rulings on Pain and Suffering Damages

Recent Rulings on Pain and Suffering Damages

PAUL HENREID VS RICHARD SKAGGS

FROG No. 9.1 asks, “Are there any other damages that you attribute to the INCIDENT?” to which Plaintiff responded in the affirmative and listed “pain and suffering and humiliation.” The Court notes that 9.1 requests the amount of damages which Plaintiff has not provided. Finally, FROG No. 17.1 requires a plaintiff who responds to a RFA with anything other than an unqualified admission to identify facts that support their contention.

  • Hearing

    Jul 06, 2020

PRINCESS NAVA CELO VS GERARDO MARCELO MARTINEZ

Additionally, Plaintiff claims $2,744.76 in property damages. (Opp.. Birch Decl., ¶4 and Exh. C.) The Complaint not only seeks recovery of these specials, but of general damages, the only limit on which is reasonableness. (Civ. Code, § 3359; Loth v. Truck–A–Way Corp. (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 757, 764-768.) In this personal injury action, it is possible that pain and suffering damages of more than $10,000.00 could be awarded to Plaintiff.

  • Hearing

    Jul 01, 2020

JOSE VAZQUEZ , ET AL. VS ALMA HERNANDEZ , ET AL.

A cause of action based on employer negligence is likely to include an award for pain and suffering, which is not fixed or ascertainable. Plaintiff has cited no case law reconciling the provisions of Labor Code section 3707 and CCP section 483.010(b). Nor has the court been able to locate any. The court concludes that an attachment under Labor Code section 3707 may include an estimate of pain and suffering despite CCP section 483.010(b).

  • Hearing

    Jun 30, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

MCCANIC-THORTON VS. CAREHOUSE HEALTHCARE CENTER

Thus, the motion to strike portions of the FAC containing allegations of pain and suffering is denied. Request for Punitive Damages: Plaintiffs did not seek leave to assert a claim for punitive damages against Carehouse, a health care provider. (See Code Civ. Proc., §§ 425.13(a).) While punitive damages are recoverable under a cause of action for elder abuse, the FAC fails to adequately allege such cause of action. Thus, motion to strike request for punitive damages is granted.

  • Hearing

    Jun 30, 2020

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 147 as being dispositive because Campbell also involved a situation where a plaintiff lacked special damages and was only seeking damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages. However, Campbell is distinguishable. In Campbell, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the case transferred to Municipal Court.

  • Hearing

    Jun 25, 2020

ARACELI SICKLER VS ISLAND PACIFIC SUPERMARKETS INC ET AL

Pain and suffering are not subject to precise measurement by any scale, and their translation into money damages is peculiarly the function of the trier of the facts. (Walker, 53 Cal.3d at 269; see also Singer v. Superior Court 70 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1320 [finding trial court abused its discretion in ordering case transfer to municipal court because plaintiff sought damages for pain and suffering – claims which were not subject to precise pretrial measurement].)

  • Hearing

    Jun 23, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Products Liability

ANESKO VS DEVITIS HEARING RE: MOTION TO DETERMINE GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENT BY AVNEESH GILL, HERTZ VEHICLES LLC

In addition, she seeks lost income of at least $3,500 per month plus damages for pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s damages are supported by attachments. The Devitis Defendants estimate Plaintiff’s damages at 1.5 million per the opposition, which would make the $15,000 settlement merely 1% of Plaintiff’s estimated damages. The Devitis opposition asserts that the accident was caused solely by the negligence of Gill and Hertz, but provides no evidence in support of this assertion.

  • Hearing

    Jun 04, 2020

GREEN VS KAWALEC

The focus of the evidence and the parties’ arguments was squarely on the damages suffered by the plaintiff. In essence, the jury’s decision was a mathematical calculation of past and future medical bills and pain and suffering. There was no reason for the jury to hold the hit-and-run aspect of the incident against defendant in making this calculation. Based upon these findings, the court found that the prejudicial impact did not substantially outweigh the probative value.

  • Hearing

    May 26, 2020

ALEXIS MARIE REYES VS IRMA MARIE HARTMAN

A psychological exam may be ordered where a plaintiff claims “great mental pain and suffering” resulting from physical injury. Reuter v. Superior Court (1979) 93 Cal.App.3d 332, 340. In other words, where a plaintiff claims unusual psychiatric symptoms, a defense mental exam is clearly proper. However, where the mental suffering claimed is no different than that generally associated with physical injury, forcing the plaintiff to submit to a full-blown psychiatric exam may be pure harassment.

  • Hearing

    Mar 13, 2020

BARBARA ROCK-LEWIS BY AND THROUGH HER SUCCESSOR-IN-INTEREST, DAVID CLEAVER, ET AL. VS BERKLEY VALLEY CONVALESCENT HOSPITAL, INC. , ET AL.

Plaintiff also alleges that, “[a]s a result of BERKLEY nursing staff’s failure to reposition ROCK-LEWIS at least every two hours, ROCK-LEWIS developed pressure injuries to her coccyx, buttocks, sacrum and heels and as a result, ROCK-LEWIS suffered extreme pain and suffering and an untimely death.” (¶ 38.)

  • Hearing

    Mar 12, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

EUGENE SHAMPANSKY ET AL VS OCEANS 11 RV PARK LLC

Compensatory damages generally include damages for pain and suffering caused by a defendant's breach of a noncontractual obligation. (Marron v. Superior Court (2003) 108 Cal. App. 4th 1049, 1060.)

  • Hearing

    Mar 12, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

JOAN DUCHATEAU, BY AND THROUGH HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RICHARD DUCHATEAU VS. AG LAGUNA HILLS LLC

On the other hand, if Plaintiff dies, Plaintiff will no longer be able to recover damages for pain and suffering under her second cause of action for negligence. (Code Civ. Proc., § 377.34.) And while those same damages may be available under her first cause of action for elder abuse (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 15657), the elements of this cause of action and the evidence necessary to prove it are different.

  • Hearing

    Mar 11, 2020

ROBERT BISHOP VS MORTON VLONN TARELL

Plaintiff must submit evidence showing that he incurred $10,000 in damages due to the injury (for example, medical bills) and suffered $15,000 in pain and suffering. The motion is DENIED because Plaintiff has not filed these completed forms and evidence. The Court continues the Order to Show Cause Re Dismissal for Failure to File a Default Judgment to August 21, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 27. Moving party to give notice.

  • Hearing

    Mar 05, 2020

CRYSTAL GOREE, ET AL. VS RANCHO BUFFET, INC. , ET AL.

Third, a hearing with testimony by Plaintiffs and other appropriate witnesses will be required for the recovery of the emotional distress damages sought (i.e., $2,004,000 for Crystal Goree and $2,004,000 for Darrelyn Mathieu). The Court notes that the standard for determining compensation for pain and suffering is based on what “a reasonable person would estimate as fair compensation.” ((See Duarte v.

  • Hearing

    Mar 03, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Discrimination/Harass

MESBAHI V. EWERT

Plaintiff argues that, given his underlying medical conditions and the amount of past and future pain and suffering he was claiming at the time of the offer ($165,215 for past pain and suffering; $388,944 for future pain and suffering), Defendant could not reasonably have expected him to accept $25,000. Plaintiff also argues there is no dispute as to whether Defendant Ewert collided with Plaintiff, nor whether or not the resulting injuries claimed y Plaintiff were caused by the collision.

  • Hearing

    Mar 02, 2020

DITLEVSEN V. PEDERSEN

The jury has spoken through its findings in the special verdict forms that expressly limited the damages recoverable against defendant Pederson and the special verdicts can only be reasonable construed in one way – that defendant Pederson was not a substantial factor in causing harm to plaintiff for injuries related to the low back injury claim and for any aggravation of the other injuries that will require future treatment and cause additional pain and suffering in the future.

  • Hearing

    Feb 28, 2020

JOSEFINA ROBLES VS ST FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER ET AL

However, Whitlow was in the emergency room context, where the plaintiff was in extreme pain and suffering severe migraines. (Ibid.) Markow distinguished Whitlow, and the cases like it, on this point. (Markow, supra, 3 Cal.App.5th at 1041.) Defendant addresses this argument by including evidence that Plaintiff was not suffering an emergency when admitted. Plaintiff cites to the District Court opinion in Calderon v. United States (E.D.

  • Hearing

    Feb 27, 2020

  • Judge

    Salvatore Sirna or Gary Y. Tanaka

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

PERKINS V. SANTA ROSA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Plaintiffs may seek enhanced remedies for elder abuse without complying with Code of Civil Procedure section 425.13 but the Court grants the motion to strike as to punitive damages otherwise, with leave to amend and with leave for Plaintiffs to comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 425.13 in order to seek such punitive damages. Pain and Suffering Sanders next argues that Plaintiffs may not recover damages for pain and suffering.

  • Hearing

    Feb 26, 2020

  • Judge

    Patrick M

  • County

    Sonoma County, CA

ATZIM MENDEZ ET AL VS PINES ENGINEERING CO INC ET AL

Although the amount of damages awarded in a wrongful death case which are designed to compensate noneconomic losses are akin to those awarded for pain and suffering and emotional distress, and do not support prejudgment interest, plaintiffs were entitled to prejudgment interest under CC § 3288, on those damages attributable to an ascertainable economic value, such as loss of household services or earning capacity, as well as funeral and related expenses.

  • Hearing

    Feb 25, 2020

  • Judge

    Lori Ann Fournier or Olivia Rosales

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

GEENA HONG VS LUIS SAHAGUN ET AL

In addition to special damages in that amount, Plaintiff seeks general damages for pain and suffering. Defendant has moved for an order to reclassify the case, arguing that recovery in excess of $25,000 is “virtually unattainable.” The party seeking reclassification must show that any verdict entered would necessarily result lower than the threshold of $25,000. (See Walker v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 257, 262.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 24, 2020

ELKINS VS STARWOOD RETAIL PARTNERS

Plaintiff and Caroline Elkins alleged physical damage and pain and suffering, alleging that drivers have recklessly left them off in intersections, TransDev denied meritorious claims and that when she took TransDev to court, the representative lied to make up rules it does not post. The case is pending. (8) Cases against HP and Enrique Lores: Elkins v. HP, Inc., Case No. 37-2019-2214, filed January 10, 2019 [small claims].

  • Hearing

    Feb 20, 2020

  • Type

    Contract

  • Sub Type

    Contract - Other

EDWARD MAYO, AN INDIVIDUAL VS TK1SC, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION

As to category 2, Plaintiff asserts that while Defendant has claims that Plaintiff’s emotional state prior to commencing his employment with Defendant will allow it to explore whether his emotional distress is the product of other causes, the mere allegation of pain and suffering does not render all records pertaining to Plaintiff’s mental condition as discoverable, as such documents need to still be directly relevant to the mental condition at issue. (Davis v.

  • Hearing

    Feb 20, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

PERKINS V. SANTA ROSA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

The Court grants the motion to strike as to punitive damages otherwise, with leave to amend and Plaintiffs must comply with Code of Civil Procedure section 425.13 in order to seek such punitive damages. Pain and Suffering Santos next argues that Plaintiffs may not recover damages for pain and suffering.

  • Hearing

    Feb 14, 2020

  • Judge

    Patrick M

  • County

    Sonoma County, CA

HEATHER REYES ET AL VS JENNIFER GOODNIGHT ET AL

General allegations of pain and suffering that arise from garden-variety personal injury cases do not automatically place the plaintiff’s mental condition at issue. (Id. at p. 1015.) The subpoena asks for “any and all documents, paper and digital records pertaining to care, treatment and examination” of Plaintiff, with no limit as to time or type of treatment. Plaintiff argues the subpoena invades her right to privacy, seeks irrelevant records, and is overbroad as to time and scope.

  • Hearing

    Feb 11, 2020

MORRIS VS. CAPE CANYON HOA UPDATED 2/11 MTN (1)

In addition, the Complaint alleges injuries including “emotional distress and pain and suffering including but not limited to physical pain, fear, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, worry, humiliation, indignity, embarrassment and ordeal.” (Complaint, ¶ 100.) The Complaint also alleges harm for “pain and suffering including but not limited to worry, upset, depression, anxiety, frustration, anger, sleeplessness, and other physical manifestations of emotional injury.” (Complaint, ¶ 116.)

  • Hearing

    Feb 11, 2020

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