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

101-125 of 745 results

STEVEN GRIFFIN VS STUDIO POINTE APTS INC ET AL

In ruling on a motion to reclassify, the Court may not properly “trespass into the province of the trier of fact” and in particular, “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 facts.” (Maldonado v. Superior Court (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 397, 401-402 [“The unlikeliness of a judgment in excess of $25,000 is not the test”].)

  • Hearing

    Nov 06, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

ARYEE VS MILNER

The award of "0" damages appears to reflect the jury's opinion that Plaintiff's testimony lacked trustworthiness. However, given the admission by Defendants' expert, Plaintiff is nonetheless entitled to some amount of damages: a head injury cannot result without at least some amount of pain and suffering. Thus, the amount of the additur has been reduced to take into account this lack of trustworhtiness.

  • Hearing

    Oct 31, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

LARRY QUISHENBERRY VS BERGER INC ET AL

Plaintiff alleges that decedent was transferred to his home, where, without adequate nursing care and physical therapy his health declined, he experienced pain and suffering and died. The court on January 13, 2017, at a hearing in Case No. BC 615178, deemed this case related to that case, and ordered this matter transferred to this department. Case No. BC 615178 was deemed the lead case.

  • Hearing

    Oct 25, 2019

JACQUELINE PARTIDA VS JOSE SERPAS

Section 3288 “permits discretionary prejudgment interest for unliquidated tort claims” to the extent that the claim seeks recovery for economic damages. Greater Westchester Homeowners Assn v. City of Los Angeles (1979) 26 Cal. 3d 86, 102-03; Bullis v. Security Pacific National Bank (1978) 21 Cal. 3d 801, 814-15. Prejudgment interest is not allowed under that section for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Greater Westchester Homeowners Assn v.

  • Hearing

    Oct 24, 2019

LISA J BROWN VS EDMOND AREVALO ET AL

Plaintiff’s pain and suffering are at issue. The Court cannot value Plaintiff’s pain and suffering, which, even if limited at five months, would necessitate their translation into money damages, a function for the factfinder. (Walker, supra, 53 Cal.3d at p. 262.; Maldonado v. Superior Court (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 397, 401.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 23, 2019

DAVID BOYLE VS LAURA SANDUSKY ET AL

Plaintiff’s demand for pain and suffering is not subject to precise measurement by any scale, and its translation into money damages is peculiarly the function of the trier of the facts.” (Maldonado, supra, 45 Cal.App.4th at p. 401.) Discussion Here, Defendants meet their initial burden of demonstrating good cause in bringing this Walker motion by presenting evidence that Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled $2,507 as of February 2019.

  • Hearing

    Oct 22, 2019

CHRISTINA SANCHEZ VS DAILY

The facts given include: --that the incident occurred on May 20, 2017, --that the driver of the vehicle was defendant Alexandra Daily (Defendant), --that the person hit was plaintiff Christina Sanchez (Plaintiff), --that Plaintiff was seriously injured, which included shock and injury to her nervous system and which caused anxiety, pain, and suffering, and --that the vehicle was driven at a speed that violated Vehicle Code § 22350 These allegations are sparse.

  • Hearing

    Oct 17, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

RHONDA SOLOMON VS LOS ANGELES JEWISH HOME FOR THE AGING ET

Plaintiff alleges in her complaint that she suffered “severe injuries to her body and the injuries received by Plaintiff have greatly impaired her health, strength, and activity and have thereby caused and continue to cause her great mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering and extreme shock to her nervous system.” (Complaint, ¶ 12.) It is undisputed that Plaintiff suffers from diabetes and previously made a worker’s compensation claim with respect to her upper extremities.

  • Hearing

    Oct 17, 2019

CHRISTINA SANCHEZ VS DAILY

The facts given include: --that the incident occurred on May 20, 2017, --that the driver of the vehicle was defendant Alexandra Daily (Defendant), --that the person hit was plaintiff Christina Sanchez (Plaintiff), --that Plaintiff was seriously injured, which included shock and injury to her nervous system and which caused anxiety, pain, and suffering, and --that the vehicle was driven at a speed that violated Vehicle Code § 22350 These allegations are sparse.

  • Hearing

    Oct 17, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Auto

GRIFFITH V. ESKANDER

There is an allegation that Plaintiff suffered “shock and injury to his nervous system, and his injuries have caused and continue to cause great mental, physical, nervous pain and suffering.” (FAC ¶28.) These allegations are insufficient to show “severe emotional distress.” (Michaelian, supra, 50 Cal.App.4th at 1114.) Therefore, on this ground, the demurrer is granted with leave to amend to allow Plaintiff to allege facts supporting his claim for alleged emotional distress caused by Defendant.

  • Hearing

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    other

MELISSA MEDINA VS CASA ESCOBAR MALIBU BEACH LLC ET AL

If the relief requested in the complaint consists of either nonmonetary relief or monetary relief in amounts which require either an accounting, additional evidence, or the exercise of judgment to ascertain, such as emotional distress damages, pain and suffering, or punitive damages, the plaintiff must request entry of judgment by the court, rather than by the clerk, following a default; in such cases, the plaintiff must affirmatively establish his entitlement to the specific judgment requested. (Kim v.

  • Hearing

    Oct 15, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

LOUIE DUBON VS CHARLES WILLIAM BRADFORD

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

    Oct 09, 2019

HOOD V. DIGNITY HEALTH ET AL.

Rashtian, who is board certified in cardiovascular disease and clinical cardiac electrophysiology, to testify "in the field of physical injuries, standard of care in the field, surgical procedures, diagnostic and radiographic tests, future surgery, pain and suffering, medical treatment and rehabilitation." (See Plaintiff's Designation of Expert Witnesses at pages 1, 12 and 13, to moving papers as Exhibit C.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 08, 2019

ALICIA PRECIADO VS INFINITY INSURANCE CORP

Background On September 22, 2017, Plaintiff Alicia Preciado (“Plaintiff”) brought this action against Defendant Infinity Insurance Company (erroneously sued as “Infinity Insurance Corporation”) (“Defendant”) to recover damages for medical expenses and pain and suffering arising from a car accident. Defendant was personally served with the Summons and Complaint through its authorized agent by a sheriff on January 26, 2018. (4/13/18 Proof of Service of Summons.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 08, 2019

  • Judge

    James E. Blancarte or Serena R. Murillo

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

GAGE RIKER VS RITE AID CORPORATION, ET AL.

Civil Code section 3283 provides that “[p]laintiffs in personal injury actions may recover not only noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, but also future damages.” Here, Plaintiff’s claims center on the injury inflicted on him by the Security Guard while allegedly acting in the course and scope of his employment. (Compl. ¶¶ 16-17.)

  • Hearing

    Oct 08, 2019

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Discrimination/Harass

  • Judge Elaine Lu
  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

MARINE GINOSYAN VS GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY

For one thing, plaintiff experienced pain and emotional suffering both as the result of the two dog bites and as a result of defendants' failure to advise whether Sunny had been inoculated against rabies. “ '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.' [Citation.]” (Walker v. Superior Court, supra, 53 Cal.3d, at p. 269.)” Singer, at 1320.

  • Hearing

    Oct 04, 2019

CAROL LUFT VS CHADMAR COLFIN ROLLING HILLS LLC ET AL

Plaintiff’s claims of a larger amount of damages are not evidence of the total recovery Plaintiff may ultimately recover, and the Court does not consider damages for alleged pain and suffering in making a good faith determination. While Property Owner Defendants argue Plaintiff would not have had to leave her apartment if not for the mud, that argument does not mean Property Owner Defendants have no share in the liability.

  • Hearing

    Oct 01, 2019

DIANE CARLSON, ET AL. V. REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER OF SAN JOSE, ET AL.

The primary reason for making a claim under the Elder/Dependent Abuse Act, however, is to recover enhanced remedies, including pre-death pain and suffering, attorney’s fees and costs, and punitive damages.

  • Hearing

    Sep 26, 2019

  • Judge

    Presiding

  • County

    Santa Clara County, CA

ADELAIDE ROSE PALMSTROM VS CITY OF PASADENA ET AL

City estimates that Palmstrom’s current damages multiplied by 4 would amount to a total estimated recovery at trial for $500,000 to $8,400,000 for pain and suffering, while Hasbun and Moad’s damages (using a multiplier of 1.5, given that they were not struck by the tree) would estimate general pain and suffering damages of $2,500 each. (Mot. at p.12.) City argues that this figure is within the “ballpark” of City’s proportionate share of liability. The settlement proposed by City appears to be fair.

  • Hearing

    Sep 26, 2019

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

MCMAHON VS. HENDRICKS

Under the Stipulation of 3/5/19, “Plaintiff does not seek recovery in this lawsuit against Defendants of any possible damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, or any other sort of mental or emotional harm.” First Cause of Action, for Breach of Oral Contract The court grants summary adjudication of this cause of action as to all defendants. One of the elements of this cause of action is damages. (Navellier v. Sletten (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 763, 775.)

  • Hearing

    Sep 20, 2019

JASON CIRRINCIONE VS AMERICAN SCISSOR LIFT, INC.

Plaintiff seeks punitive damages. (Complaint, 10:3-11:4.) Prayer Plaintiff prays for compensatory damages, including lost back pay, interest, lost fringe benefits, reinstatement of future lost earnings and fringe benefits, other economic loss, damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering, punitive damages, restitution and disgorgement, for attorneys’ fees and costs, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, statutory penalties under the Labor Code, and other and further relief.

  • Hearing

    Sep 18, 2019

  • Judge

    George J. Abdallah

  • County

    San Joaquin County, CA

SHEPARD VS. PICK, ET AL

death, excluding pain and suffering.

  • Hearing

    Sep 16, 2019

SHEPARD VS. PICK, ET AL

death, excluding pain and suffering.

  • Hearing

    Sep 16, 2019

ADRIANA MARQUEZ ET AL VS MARGARITA VASQUEZ ET AL

In deciding whether a matter should be transferred a trial court must look beyond the pleadings but not so far as to trespass into the province of the trier of fact (e.g., 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, supra; Maldonado v. Superior Court (1996) 45 Cal.App.4th 397, 401.) 4.

  • Hearing

    Sep 16, 2019

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

    Sep 13, 2019

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