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

SEO BIN HONG VS CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY

Issue No.2: Emotional Distress Damages In connection with a rescission claim “no damages may be awarded for pain and suffering.” (O’Neil v. Spillane (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 147, 158.) “The general rule in California is that damages for mental suffering may not be recovered in an action for breach of an ordinary commercial contract.” (Kwan v. Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc. (1994) 23 Cal.App.4th 175, 188.)

  • Hearing

    Aug 03, 2020

ERIC NEWMAN VS ALFREDO TORRES, ET AL.

Additionally, Responding Party also anticipates retaining an expert to calculate the value of the pain and suffering he experienced on a daily basis after Defendant Alfredo Torres was professionally negligent and Responding Party spent seventy-two days in Men's Central Jail as a result. · FORM INTERROGATORY NO. 9.2: Do any DOCUMENTS support the existence or amount of any item of damages claimed in interrogatory 9.1?

  • Hearing

    Jul 30, 2020

CHRISTINA GARCIA VS JESSE E. FRENCH, ESQ.,, ET AL.

Sandberg (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 181, 187, fn. 6 [noting that in a legal malpractice action, the judgment in an underlying action could have included damages for pain and suffering, which was recoverable in the legal malpractice action, as opposed to “direct damages for pain, suffering, or disfigurement”].) Accordingly, the Court denies the motion to strike as to the emotional distress allegations in support of the legal malpractice claim (paragraph 112).

  • Hearing

    Jul 30, 2020

ROBERT JOHN ARCAND VS FRESH AIR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC E

Plaintiff argued to the jury for general damages of $80,000.00. Plaintiff argues for a total verdict of $196,000.00. The jury returned a verdict of 17,566.00 consisting of $9,566.00 for past medicals (12:0 jury polling) and $8,000.00 for past pain and suffering (12:0 jury polling).

  • Hearing

    Jul 28, 2020

ROBERT JOHN ARCAND VS FRESH AIR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES INC E

Plaintiff argued to the jury for general damages of $80,000.00. Plaintiff argues for a total verdict of $196,000.00. The jury returned a verdict of 17,566.00 consisting of $9,566.00 for past medicals (12:0 jury polling) and $8,000.00 for past pain and suffering (12:0 jury polling).

  • Hearing

    Jul 28, 2020

DEGUZMAN VS. ADVANCED INTEGRATED PEST

(And the converse danger is equally true – the possibility that two separate sympathetic juries could end up awarding plaintiff the same general damages for pain and suffering, giving him a double recovery.) It is fair to observe here, as in Landau, that plaintiffs’ actual complaint leaves a good deal to be desired in spelling out the nature of Guzman’s injuries and the basis on which he contends he is in doubt as to which set of defendants he should be suing.

  • Hearing

    Jul 24, 2020

DOBREMSYL VS AG RANCHO MIRAGE HEARING RE: DEMURRER TO 3RD AMENDED COMPLAINT OF EDWIN J. DOBREMSYL BY ANDTHROUGHHIS BY AG RANCHO MIRAGE LLC

. § 377.34 [generally limiting recovery of predeath pain and suffering damages].) (Winn v. Pioneer Medical Group, Inc. (2016) 63 Cal.4th 148, 159-160.) The allegations do not show that AG Rancho Mirage was not hydrating Dobremsyl. They show only that they were not providing hydration according to the standard of care. This is negligence. Plaintiff’s argument about the failure to protect from health and safety hazards is irrelevant because this case does not arise from such failure.

  • Hearing

    Jul 24, 2020

NINA ROBINSON VS ANNETTA SPARKS, ET AL.

The prayer for relief seeks compensatory damages, including damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering, punitive/exemplary damages, and interest. Plaintiff neither alleged the amount of money damages nor served a statement of damages. Plaintiff is seeking personal injury damages by way of emotional distress and pain and suffering through her causes of action for retaliation, wrongful termination, IIED, and negligence.

  • Hearing

    Jul 22, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Wrongful Term

JANINE M YODER VS MAHYAR OKHOVAT, MD AND INDIVIDUAL, ET AL.

Further, Plaintiff did not provide a specific monetary amount for the pain and suffering damages she seeks, although, as Defendants’ request mentions, these Will likely be capped by the limitation in Civil Code section 3333.2. Given the gaps in the information previously provided and the fact that nearly a year has passed since the demand letter was drafted, the Court orders Plaintiff to provide Defendants with an updated statement of damages within the next 30 days.

  • Hearing

    Jul 22, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Medical Malpractice

JANINE M YODER VS MAHYAR OKHOVAT, MD AND INDIVIDUAL, ET AL.

Further, Plaintiff did not provide a specific monetary amount for the pain and suffering damages she seeks, although, as Defendants’ request mentions, these Will likely be capped by the limitation in Civil Code section 3333.2. Given the gaps in the information previously provided and the fact that nearly a year has passed since the demand letter was drafted, the Court orders Plaintiff to provide Defendants with an updated statement of damages within the next 30 days.

  • Hearing

    Jul 21, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Medical Malpractice

NASIM BARJESTEH VS AVI EL-KISS, ET AL.

Plaintiff alleges that she suffered personal injuries in the form of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress as a result of the uninhabitable conditions caused by the mold growth. (Id. ¶ 28.) Therefore, Plaintiff has adequately pled the elements of her claims against Defendants for premises liability and negligence. Defendants’ open and obvious argument is not well-taken. Plaintiff does not plead that the mold along the wall was present when she started her tenancy.

  • Hearing

    Jul 21, 2020

GEORGE SANTOPIETRO VS JAMES HARDEN, ET AL.

The Cross-Complaint alleges that Santopietro’s attorney “outrageously mislead the Cross Plaintiffs to believe a lawsuit had been filed, and did so in order to inflict pain and suffering, anxiety and fear in Cross Plaintiffs.” (XC1 ¶ 27.) In Opposition, the Cross-Complainants contend that the Cross-Complaint “comes as the results of Santo’s sending a lawsuit via deceit by his “attorney” and damages.” (Oppo. at p. 1.) Accordingly, the relevant conduct/activity is the email sent from Santopietro’s attorney.

  • Hearing

    Jul 20, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

JESUS RAMOS RIOS VS DAVID PIZZI

The current condition of Plaintiff’s back is relevant to Plaintiff’s claimed damages, i.e., current pain and suffering. Therefore, the Court orders the parties to meet-and-confer to determine whether they will stipulate to a second examination, including the parameters for any such examination. B. Motion to Compel Second Deposition The Court grants the motion to compel Plaintiff to sit for a second deposition. Plaintiff’s recent back surgery is pertinent to Plaintiff’s claimed damages in this action.

  • Hearing

    Jul 17, 2020

(NO CASE NAME AVAILABLE)

The effects of Sloan’s pressure sores included the loss of personal dignity, shame and humiliation, needless pain and suffering, dehyration, anguish and trauma, and damages. (Compl. ¶ 33.) procedural history Plaintiff Sloan and Pamela Sloan (“Pamela”) filed the Complaint on April 3, 2020, alleging two causes of action: Elder Abuse (Welf. & Inst. Code, §§ 15600 et seq.) Negligent Hiring and Supervision On April 14, 2020, Plaintiffs filed instant Motion for Trial Preference.

  • Hearing

    Jul 17, 2020

KATHLEEN RUIZ VS MARYMOUNT CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY

She argues that she “is not alleging an ongoing mental injury or seeking future emotional distress damages for such a mental injury beyond garden-variety pain and suffering damages arising naturally from her other injuries.” (Opposition, 7:22-8:1-2.) She further argues she “is fully entitled to seek all emotional distress damages suffered in the past, and under relevant authority, the issues with the mental examination do not affect her right to seek those damages.” (Opposition, 8:3-5.)

  • Hearing

    Jul 16, 2020

  • Type

    Employment

  • Sub Type

    Other Employment

BARRAGAN V. WEST COAST PACKING INC.

Finally, Prop. 51 adds another factor affecting determination of the “good faith” of piecemeal settlements: The gross amount of any settlement in an action subject to Prop. 51 must be within the “reasonable range ballpark” of the settling defendant's liability for: — 100% of the economic damages suffered by plaintiff; and — the approximate share of noneconomic damages (pain and suffering) for which the settling defendant is personally at fault. (See Espinoza v.

  • Hearing

    Jul 15, 2020

SAMANTHA AGUILAR, ET AL. VS MONIKA GEISZ-BENITEZ, ET AL.

General damages include damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other forms of detriment that are sometimes characterized as subjective or not directly quantifiable. (Id. at 892 (quoting Beeman, supra, 216 Cal.App.3d at 1599).)

  • Hearing

    Jul 15, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

HERNANDEZ V. CITY OF FRESNO

Hernandez was shot and experienced pain and suffering until he died. Thus, the factual basis of each of plaintiffs’ tort claims is that plaintiffs’ decedent had an encounter with police officers wherein they violated his civil rights by exerting excessive force on him and shooting him, resulting in his death. That is precisely the factual scenario alleged in plaintiffs’ Bane Act cause of action.

  • Hearing

    Jul 15, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

HILARY VON GERLACH VS. FRG PLAZA, LLC

The Court of Appeal expressly opined that Plaintiff was to clarify whether her allegation of “great mental and physical pain and suffering” referred to damages from the slip and fall or from the separate allegation of injury due to the continuing breaches of the warranty. (RJN Exh. 7, pg. 18.) The FAC clarifies that these damages are based upon the failures to accommodate and breach of warranty of habitability in refusing to provide a parking space close to the elevators. (FAC ¿25.)

  • Hearing

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

STEVEN DUNNER VS STATE FARM GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY

Dunner also alleged aggravated injury to his nervous system and person, including mental distress, physical pain and discomfort, and nervous pain and suffering. (Id. at ¶ 51.) The foregoing allegations of non-professional negligence (giving the client file to a runner who lost it), which caused alleged property damage and physical injury, are sufficient to trigger a duty to defend on the part of State Farm.

  • Hearing

    Jul 14, 2020

  • Type

    Insurance

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

FABRICIO BUSTO ROMERO VS CITY OF LOS ANGELES

Generally, Plaintiff alleges that the dogs were “grossly neglected and cruelly mistreated” and “had been deliberately or unintentionally inflicted with enormous amount of pain and suffering.” (Id. at ¶15.) Plaintiff specifically alleges that that one of the dogs “had suffered a broken leg, its front leg which was swollen dangling and mangled.” (Ibid.) Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant abused the dogs by failing to “provide them with proper food, drink, proper shelter and medical attention.”

  • Hearing

    Jul 10, 2020

JESUS IGNACIO VALENZUELA, ET AL. VS LAWNDALE HEALTHCARE & WELLNESS CENTRE LLC, ET AL.

According to Plaintiffs, Rodriguez suffered prolonged pain and suffering due to the delay in transferring her to the hospital. (Id. at ¶ 58.) Rodriguez sustained facial bruising and fractures, a subdural hematoma, intracerebral hemorrhaging, a basilar skull fracture, and odontoid cervical fracture. (Ibid.) By July 30, 2019, Rodriguez was in a vegetative state, and she later required neck surgery to repair her neck fracture with screws and a tracheostomy placement due to respiratory failure. (Ibid.)

  • Hearing

    Jul 08, 2020

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

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