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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I need a California case where a patron successfully sued a

Resolved Question:

I need a California case where a patron successfully sued a bar because either the owner or a person working for the bar used excessive force to eject a patron. I hope to put the fear of the almighty into a local bar owner (and a very good friend). He has a bad habit of grabbing unruly patrons and dragging them out the door. Hes like a bull seeing red when he does this. My partner and I (doing security for a special event) had a patron under tow and heading him out and here he comes, grabs him and out the door they go. He wont listen to us when we tell him he cant do that and can be sued for it.
I need to show him in black and white what could happen if he gets sued. The buisness had its anniversary this weekend. It is kicking butt and doin fantastic. I dont want him to lose it over something stupid.
Thanks, Smitty
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi Smitty,

He is committing an assault, plain and simple. You can forcibly remove someone from the property because they are drunk, but this needs to be warranted and it needs to be non-assualtive. He needs to ask people to leave, and then gently escort them out. If they refuse and act violently, then he can use REASONABLE force. He needs to think of it like military "rules of engagement" - can't shoot unless fired upon. If he doesn't do that, then he can get sued.

CHARLES L. STEWART, Respondent, v. DOROTHY REUTLER et al., Appellants

Civ. No. 12070

COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA, SECOND APPELLATE DISTRICT, DIVISION TWO

32 Cal. App. 2d 195; 89 P.2d 402; 1939 Cal. App. LEXIS 335


April 17, 1939, Decided

SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: [***1] A Petition by Appellants to have the Cause Heard in the Supreme Court, after Judgment in the District Court of Appeal, was Denied by the Supreme Court on June 15, 1939.

PRIOR HISTORY: APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Clement D. Nye, Judge.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed.

CASE SUMMARY
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Defendant employers sought review from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which found in favor of plaintiff injured victim. The trial court found the employers liable for injuries sustained by the victim as a result of the actions of an employee of the employers.

OVERVIEW: The employers owned a roadhouse. The employers hired the employee to serve as a bouncer. The employee knocked out the victim outside of the roadhouse, and the victim brought suit against the employers. The trial court found for the victim, and the court affirmed. The employers argued that there was no allegation or proof that the employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the commission of the assault and battery. The court held that there were sufficient allegations that the employee was acting within the scope of his authority, and there was substantial evidence that he was employed as the bouncer. The court noted that it was often difficult to determine whether the rule of respondeat superior had application to a certain given set of facts; however, if the servant was directly engaged in the duties which he was employed to perform, it was obvious that the servant was at that time in the course of his employment.

OUTCOME: The court found for the victim and against the employers. The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court.


CORE TERMS: codefendant, bouncer, roadhouse, manager, floor, assault and battery, servant, guest, act of violence, substantial evidence, duty to preserve, attacked, assault, crackers, bunch


LEXISNEXIS® HEADNOTES Hide

Torts > Vicarious Liability > Employers > Scope of Employment > General Overview

HN1 It is often difficult to determine whether the rule of respondeat superior has application to a certain given set of facts, that is to say, whether the evidence shows that the servant when he committed the thing which caused the damage was acting in the course of his employment. If the servant was directly engaged in the duties which he was employed to perform, it is obvious that the servant was at that time in the course of his employment. More Like This Headnote | Shepardize: Restrict By Headnote


HEADNOTES / SYLLABUS Hide


HEADNOTES


CALIFORNIA OFFICIAL REPORTS HEADNOTES


CA(1)(1) Employer and Employee—Assault—Use of Force. --In this action for damages for assault and battery committed by an employee of the owners of a roadhouse, where the court found that said employee was employed at the time by defendant owners as a bouncer, this constituted a finding that said employee was employed to use force upon the guests whenever he thought it was necessary to keep the peace and preserve order.

CA(2)(2) Id.—Scope of Employment—Pleading—Evidence. --In said action, where the complaint alleged that two of the defendants were the owners and managers of the roadhouse, that they employed their codefendant as floor manager at the time set forth, that he was working at the direction of and at the instance of said defendant owners, and that he attacked plaintiff at their direction and acting as their agent, these were sufficient allegations that said codefendant was acting within the scope of his authority; and where there was substantial evidence that he was employed as the bouncer, there was no merit in the contention on appeal that there was no allegation or proof that said codefendant was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the assault and battery.

CA(3)(3) Id.—Place of Employment—Duties—Inferences. --In said action, it was immaterial that there was no allegation or finding that the act of violence was committed upon plaintiff on the premises of defendant owners, where it was a fair inference to sustain the judgment that the duties of said codefendant included not only his duty to preserve order upon the floor of the roadhouse, but also at the approaches thereto, where the assault upon plaintiff was committed.

COUNSEL: Davis & Thorne and Donald E. Ruppe for Appellants.

John A. Holland and Josiah Coombs for Respondent.

JUDGES: CRAIL, P. J. Wood, J., and McComb, J., concurred.

OPINION BY: CRAIL

OPINION


[*196] [**403] The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.

CRAIL, P. J. -- This is an appeal by defendants Reutler from a judgment rendered against them as the employers of codefendant Smith.

Defendants Reutler owned and managed the roadhouse known as The Gable, and employed the defendant Smith as the bouncer therein. On the evening of July 4th the plaintiff was a guest at The Gable, and while he was leaving the place and was between the entrance and the curb in front he got out a bunch of fire crackers and lit them. They made considerable noise. He got out an additional bunch of fire crackers when defendant Smith came up to him and told him, "You can't shoot them things out here." The plaintiff persisted. He put his [***2] foot up on a lamp post in order to strike a match when defendant Smith hit him in the face and knocked him out.

CA(1)(1) The first contention of the appellants is that the findings of fact and conclusions of law are insufficient to support the judgment against them, and in this connection they say, "It will be noted that there is no finding that said Smith, as a part of his employment, was authorized or required to act for and on behalf of appellants in any other manner than to keep order and assist appellants within the confines of appellants' premises." There is a finding that defendant Smith was employed at the time by the defendants Reutler as a bouncer. In our view this is a finding that the defendant Smith was employed to use force upon the [*197] guests whenever he thought it was necessary to keep the peace and preserve order.

CA(2)(2) The next contention of the appellants is that there is no allegation or proof that defendant Smith was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the commission of the assault and battery. The complaint alleges that the Reutlers were the owners and managers of The Gable and that they employed said Smith as floor manager at the time set forth; [***3] that he was working at the direction of and at the instance of the defendants Reutler; and that he attacked the plaintiff at their direction and acting as their agent. In our view these are sufficient allegations that the defendant Smith was acting within the scope of his authority, and there is substantial evidence that he was employed as the bouncer.

HN1It is often difficult to determine whether the rule of respondeat superior has application to a certain given set of facts, that is to say, whether the evidence shows that the servant when he committed the thing which caused the damage was acting in the course of his employment. If the servant was directly engaged in the duties which he was employed to perform, it is obvious that the servant was at that time in the course of his employment. (16 Cal. Jur. 1104.)

CA(3)(3) Finally, the appellants contend that it is not alleged nor is there a finding that the act of violence was committed upon respondent upon the premises of appellants. This is true, but it is a fair inference to sustain the judgment that defendant Smith's duties included not only his duty to preserve order upon the floor of The Gable, but also at the approaches thereto. Judgment [***4] affirmed.

Wood, J., and McComb, J., concurred.

Please let me know if you need further information.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Great information. Thank you. Any chance you could find a case that isnt so violent? All he did was grab him and drag him outside. Owner is 6' 290+ Kid was 160 soakin wet. Didnt hurt him but definately battered him.

Accept guartanteed with followup answer.

Thanks,Smitty

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Relist: Other. No problem with present expert. Just wanting to see things from the customers end.

FYI: I'm 'The Home Smithy' from Appliance cat.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.

Hi Smithy,

The level of violence is what is relevant in this situation. A bar owner can throw someone out of the bar using reasonable force. If he is only grabbing someone by the collar and removing them, then it may or may not be reasonable. If there is no warning and the person was never asked to leave, then it is possibly unreasonable.

Here is a case explaining it a bit further:

171 Cal. App. 2d 41, *; 339 P.2d 963, **;
1959 Cal. App. LEXIS 1789, ***

VIRGINIA H. COOROUGH, Appellant, v. ALICE DeLAY et al., Respondents

Civ. No. 23187

Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division One

171 Cal. App. 2d 41; 339 P.2d 963; 1959 Cal. App. LEXIS 1789


June 2, 1959

PRIOR HISTORY: [***1] APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Philbrick McCoy, Judge.

Action for damages for assault and battery.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed. Judgment for defendants affirmed.

CASE SUMMARY
PROCEDURAL POSTURE: Plaintiff bar patron appealed from the decision of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which entered judgment in favor of defendants, bar owner and waitress, in an action seeking recovery for an alleged assault and battery.

OVERVIEW: The bar patron filed a claim against defendants for assault and battery after the waitress ejected her from the bar. At trial, the evidence established that the waitress ejected the patron after she performed several obscene dances in front of the tables of other customers and refused the waitress's requests to leave the premises. The jury returned a general verdict in favor of defendants. On appeal, the court affirmed and held that because defendants pleaded provocation by the patron and the use of reasonable force to remove her from the bar, the court was required to assume that the jury implicitly upheld those defenses. The court pointed out that defendants owed a duty to protect their invitees from the acts of third parties and to take appropriate action to restrain dangerous conduct. The court determined that because the jury implicitly found that the waitress used reasonable force to eject the patron, there was nothing in her conduct, which if imputed to the owner, would have rendered the owner liable to the patron. The court also ruled that the patron could not complain about the submission of an instruction, which was substantially similar to one that she had requested.

OUTCOME: The court affirmed the judgment entered in favor of defendants on the bar patron's assault and battery claim.


CORE TERMS: waitress, assault and battery, assault, barroom, patron, cocktail, impliedly, door, matter of law, jury's verdict, punitive damages, complain, dance, cafe, ejected, substantial evidence, trier of fact, unreasonable force, exemplary damages, personally, impromptu, instruct, obscene, invited, evening, invitee, solo, seat, general verdict, reversible error


LEXISNEXIS® HEADNOTES Hide

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > General Overview

HN1 The appellate court recounts the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing parties and indulges all intendments and reasonable inferences which favor the sustaining of the trier of fact. More Like This Headnote

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > General Overview

HN2 Implicit in a general verdict is the presumption that all material facts in issue as to which substantial evidence was received were determined in a manner consistent and in conformance with the verdict. More Like This Headnote

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > General Overview

Torts > Intentional Torts > Defenses > Defense of Property

HN3 The trier of fact must determine from the circumstances of each case whether more than reasonable force was used. Where the evidence is in conflict, it is not the province of a reviewing court to analyze or resolve those conflicts. More Like This Headnote

Torts > Premises Liability & Property > General Premises Liability > General Overview

HN4 The proper operation of places of public accommodation requires the maintenance of peace and good order upon the premises. This principle is particularly applicable to barrooms or places where intoxicants are served. Too, a legal duty is owed by their proprietors to protect business invitees from the acts of third persons, and this duty includes the taking of appropriate measures to restrain conduct by such third persons which he should be aware of and which he should realize is dangerous. More Like This Headnote

Torts > Premises Liability & Property > General Premises Liability > General Overview

HN5 The proprietor of a public tavern may not eject a member of the public of lawful age as long as he is acting "properly" or "except for good cause." More Like This Headnote

Civil Procedure > Trials > Jury Trials > Jury Instructions > General Overview

Civil Procedure > Appeals > Standards of Review > Harmless & Invited Errors > Invited Errors Doctrine

HN6 A party cannot complain of an instruction given at his own request or of an error in an instruction given at the instance of his adversary when he requests a substantially similar one. More Like This Headnote

Civil Procedure > Trials > Jury Trials > Jury Instructions > General Overview

Criminal Law & Procedure > Appeals > Reversible Errors > General Overview

HN7 Where a jury returns a verdict in favor of the defendant on the main issue, errors in instructions bearing solely on the amount of damages present no ground for reversal. More Like This Headnote


HEADNOTES / SYLLABUS Hide


HEADNOTES


CALIFORNIA OFFICIAL REPORTS HEADNOTES


CA(1a)(1a) CA(1a)(1b) Assault--Civil Cases--Evidence. --In an action for personal injuries sustained by plaintiff as the result of an alleged assault and battery by a cocktail waitress who ejected plaintiff from a barroom, a verdict for defendants was sustained by evidence that plaintiff entered the bar unescorted, dressed in tight-fitting pants and a blouse, and performed several impromptu solo dances described by witnesses as "obscene," "pretty filthy," and "lewd," where other patrons of the bar complained about such conduct and demanded that plaintiff be thrown out, and where the cocktail waitress escorted plaintiff to the door after some hair pulling and scuffling within the room.

CA(2)(2) Trial--Verdict--Construction. --It is implicit in a general verdict that all material facts in issue as to which substantial evidence was received were determined in a manner consistent and in conformance with the verdict.

CA(3)(3) Assault--Civil Cases--Verdict. --In an assault action in which both defendants affirmatively pleaded provocation by plaintiff and the use of reasonable force, it must be assumed, from a general verdict for defendants, that the jury impliedly upheld their claims on those issues.

CA(4)(4) Id.--Civil Cases--Questions of Law and Fact. --In an assault action, the trier of fact must determine from the circumstances of each case whether more than reasonable force was used.

CA(5)(5) Appeal--Questions of Law and Fact--Resolving Conflicts. --It is not the reviewing court's province to analyze or resolve conflicts in the evidence.

CA(6)(6) Assault--Civil Cases--Instructions. --In an action for an assault and battery allegedly committed on plaintiff by a cocktail waitress when she ejected plaintiff from a barroom, it was not error to refuse to instruct that as a matter of law the waitress' conduct was to be deemed to have been the conduct of her employer, where the jury's verdict for defendants, being general, impliedly found that no unreasonable force was used by the waitress so that there was nothing in such conduct which, if imputed to her employer, could have rendered him liable.

CA(7)(7) Id.--Civil Cases--Appeal. --On appeal from a judgment in an action for an assault and battery allegedly committed on plaintiff by a cocktail waitress when she ejected plaintiff from a barroom, plaintiff was in no position to complain of the court's refusal to instruct that as a matter of law the waitress' conduct was to be deemed to have been the conduct of her employer where she also requested an instruction, refused as covered by other instructions given, which propounded interrogatories calling for the jury's determination as to whether assault and battery were committed on plaintiff's person by the waitress and whether such assault and battery were within the scope of her employment by her employer, since, by requesting two inconsistent instructions on one subject, plaintiff invited the error complained of.

CA(8)(8) Appeal--Invited Error--Instructions. --A party cannot complain of an instruction given at his own request or of an error in an instruction given at the instance of his adversary when he requests a substantially similar one.

CA(9)(9) Damages--Exemplary Damages--Liability of Principal. -- Unless an employer personally participates in his employee's wrongful acts, or previously authorized them, or subsequently ratifies the employee's acts with full knowledge of the facts, he is not liable in exemplary damages.

CA(10)(10) Appeal -- Harmless and Reversible Error -- Instructions. -- Where a jury returns a verdict in favor of defendant on the main issue, errors in instructions bearing solely on amount of damages present no ground for reversal.

COUNSEL: Joseph H. Bradley and William H. Neblett for Appellant.

Veatch, Thomas & Carlson and Henry F. Walker for Respondents.

JUDGES: Lillie, J. White, P. J., and Fourt, J., concurred.

OPINION BY: LILLIE

OPINION


[*42] [**964] On June 3, 1956, plaintiff suffered personal injuries in the course of being ejected by defendant, Alice DeLay, a cocktail waitress, from a barroom owned and operated [*43] by defendant Vince Dundee, Jr., in the city of Glendale. Compensatory and punitive damages were sought for the alleged assault and battery, and the jury returned a general verdict in favor of both defendants. Plaintiff's motion for a new trial was denied. On this appeal from the judgment entered on the jury verdict, plaintiff challenges the sufficiency of the evidence as a matter of law to sustain the jury's implied finding that reasonable force was used to accomplish her expulsion from the premises; and claims reversible error in the giving and refusal of certain instructions.

CA(1a)(1a) As is our duty, [***2] HN1we recount the evidence in the light most favorable to the respondents and indulge all intendments and reasonable inferences which favor the sustaining of the trier of fact ( Berniker v. Berniker, 30 Cal.2d 439, 444 [182 P.2d 557]). Such evidence discloses that between 10:15 and 10:30 on the evening of June 2, 1956, appellant, unescorted, entered Vince Dundee's Cafe and took a seat at the bar. Immediately prior to her appearance there, she had spent more than an hour at a nearby drinking establishment where, with certain friends, she admitted consuming three whiskey highballs. At Dundee's according to her testimony, appellant had two more drinks (the last only partly consumed); whether influenced by the environment or the liquid refreshment, or both, she proceeded during the course of the evening to do several impromptu solo dances near the piano and tables occupied by other patrons. Her attire at this time requires comment: she wore tight-fitting pants, variously described by witnesses as "toreadors," "capri slacks," and "pedal [**965] pushers," and a black short-sleeved blouse. Also requiring comment is the description given these solo dances by several witnesses: [***3] "obscene," "pretty filthy," "lewd," and "a cheap imitation of a low-down carnival hoochie-coochie."

The attention of respondent DeLay to appellant's activities was first directed by a woman patron seated at a table, who objected to appellant "doing this obscene dance in front of her husband." DeLay then asked appellant to return to her seat at the bar and stop dancing, but appellant refused.

One witness stated that appellant did some "swinging" at DeLay, but he could not recall if the latter was struck. A short time later appellant approached the table occupied by this witness and his wife. She stopped, turned her back to the couple and proceeded to "gyrate again" about six inches from the man's face. As respondent DeLay was approaching [*44] with a tray of drinks appellant attempted to strike her, whereupon a male patron led her back to her seat at the bar. One the way she stopped him and exclaimed: "Let me at that bitch." He and his wife then left the premises.

A few minutes later, appellant repeated her impromptu performance at the table of the first woman patron who then demanded that appellant "get away" or she would "throw her out." She made this same demand to respondent [***4] DeLay, telling her that if she "didn't do something about it, she would."

At this juncture, as often happens, the evidence is in sharp conflict. Appellant states that DeLay applied a hammer lock, forced her to the landing platform at the entrance, slashed her right arm with some metal instrument and then knocked her down the three or four steps leading to the sidewalk. Denying that she twisted appellant's arm, DeLay testified that she escorted appellant to the door, where appellant slapped her and again refused to leave; that thereupon she "let her right out the door and pulled the door shut and went about my (her) business," adding that as she returned to her work she saw appellant through the glass door and the latter was standing up -- swearing and screaming. More disinterested witnesses testified to some hair pulling and scuffling within the room; none however could corroborate appellant's claims concerning the incident on the landing platform.

About 20 minutes later, DeLay next saw appellant seated at a table in the alcove of the barroom. She had returned, she testified, to ascertain the reason for her removal from the premises. Neither had spoken to the other when the [***5] cafe closed at 2 a.m.

Respondent Dundee, DeLay's employer, was not present at any time on the evening in question. His liability for compensatory damages was sought on the basis of respondeat superior; and the claim against him for punitive damages stemmed from his retention of DeLay in his service as a cocktail waitress, assertedly being a ratification of her acts.

Although conceding it to be "Hornbook law that a person may use reasonable and necessary force to protect his person and property," appellant nevertheless argues that the force here used was such that a reasonable person would not have exercised under the circumstances. She urges that DeLay had only to call the manager or bartender to accomplish this mission or should have resorted to peaceable persuasion [*45] coupled with the patience expected of people in the business of dispensing refreshments which cause some of their invitees to lose their inhibitions. Attention is also directed to the fact that appellant was bruised and battered, whereas DeLay escaped unscathed; this in itself, appellant contends, would indicate that an unnecessary amount of force was used. She cites such cases as [***6] Griswold v. Hollywood Turf Club, 106 Cal.App.2d 578 [235 P.2d 656]; Haworth v. Elliott, 67 Cal.App.2d 77 [153 P.2d 804] and Tomblinson v. Nobile, 103 Cal.App.2d 266 [229 P.2d 97], all of which hold that actions of this type are secure [**966] from appellate interference where there is substantial evidence that unreasonable force was used on the invitee. The cases cited, however, are factually dissimilar, either because the conflict in testimony related to immaterial details (Griswold v. Hollywood Turf Club) or because there was no room for argument about the use of such force.

CA(2)(2) As heretofore noted, the jury's verdict was general in character. HN2Implicit in such verdicts is the presumption that "all material facts in issue as to which substantial evidence was received were determined in a manner consistent and in conformance with the verdict." ( Elliott v. Rodeo Land & Water Co., 141 Cal.App.2d 404, 411 [297 P.2d 129].) CA(3)(3) Since both respondents affirmatively pleaded provocation by appellant and the use of reasonable force to remove her from the cafe, we must assume that the jury impliedly upheld their claims on those issues. CA(4)(4) Furthermore, it is well [***7] settled that HN3the trier of fact must determine from the circumstances of each case whether more than reasonable force was used ( Landegren v. Quilici, 52 Cal.App.2d 213, 216 [126 P.2d 141]; Haeussler v. De Loretto, 109 Cal.App.2d 363, 364 [240 P.2d 654]; See v. Grandview Gardens, 136 Cal.App.2d 618, 619 [289 P.2d 48].) CA(5)(5) Where the evidence is in conflict, it is not the province of a reviewing court to analyze or resolve those conflicts. ( See v. Grandview Gardens, supra, 619.)

CA(1b)(1b) In the light of the foregoing rules, we are not persuaded that the jury's determination is without substantial support. HN4The proper operation of places of public accommodation requires the maintenance of peace and good order upon the premises -- this principle, we need hardly add, is particularly applicable to barrooms or places where intoxicants are served. Too, a legal duty is owed by their proprietors to protect business invitees from the acts of third persons, [*46] and this duty includes "the taking (of) appropriate measures to restrain conduct by (such) third persons which he should be aware of and which he should realize is dangerous" ( [***8] Edwards v. Hollywood Canteen, 27 Cal.2d 802, 810 [167 P.2d 729]).

The power of control would be completely anemic without the power of expulsion lawfully accomplished; furthermore, no valid distinction can logically be made between acts which may cause physical harm and those which affront the proprieties. It has been declared that HN5the proprietor of a public tavern may not eject a member of the public of lawful age as long as he is acting "properly" or "except for good cause" ( Stoumen v. Reilly, 37 Cal.2d 713, 716 [234 P.2d 969]). One or more of the women patrons present testified that appellant's behavior was "personally offensive"; without narration of further details, no other reaction would seem possible, since it is not suggested that the cafe in question was one frequented by persons of questionable morals and tastes.

In view of our conclusion that there is no lack of evidentiary support for the jury's implied finding, we give but brief attention to appellant's additional claim that DeLay must have been acting within the scope of her employment and that her acts were imputable to her employer. She relies on [***9] Hiroshima v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 18 Cal.App.2d 24 [63 P.2d 340]; Perry v. Washington National Ins. Co., 14 Cal.App.2d 609 [58 P.2d 701, 59 P.2d 158]; Andrews v. Seidner, 49 Cal.App.2d 427 [121 P.2d 863], and cases from other jurisdictions for the general proposition that a master is liable for the wilful and malicious acts of his servant when the latter makes an assault upon a third person as a result of a quarrel which immediately grew out of the performance of his duties. But the insurmountable difficulty with appellant's argument lies in the fact that in the matter here under consideration the jury impliedly found that no assault was committed, thus rendering academic any discussion of the refinements which are said to control.

CA(6)(6) It is next urged that the trial court committed errors of law prejudicial to appellant in the giving and refusal to give certain instructions. In that regard, it is first [**967] asserted that the court erred in declining to instruct that as a matter of law the conduct of DeLay was to be deemed to have been the conduct of Dundee, her employer. We must again point out that the jury's verdict being general in form or character, it impliedly found that no unreasonable force was used by [***10] [*47] DeLay; accordingly, there was nothing in such conduct which, if imputed to Dundee, could have rendered him liable therefor. In De La Torre v. Johnson, 203 Cal. 374 [264 P. 485], the trial court directed a verdict in favor of Johnson, the defendant employer, and the jury, of its own accord, found in favor of defendant Smith, the employee. The Supreme Court concluded that the verdict as to Smith had substantial support and declared in the closing paragraph of its opinion (p. 379): "These views render it unnecessary to pass upon the propriety of directing a verdict in favor of the deceased defendant, W. P. Johnson, for his alleged liability is predicated solely upon the doctrine of respondent superior." Similar reasoning was applied in Stickel v. San Diego Elec. Ry. Co., 32 Cal.2d 157, 167 [195 P.2d 416]. CA(7)(7) Furthermore, appellant is in no position to complain because she herself submitted an instruction (Plaintiff's Instruction No. 8), refused as covered by other instructions given, which propounded interrogatories calling for a determination by the jury as to whether (1) an assault and battery were committed on appellant's person by DeLay and (2) whether [***11] such assault and battery were within the scope of her employment by Dundee. Since the trial court gave B.A.J.I. No. 54 (contested issue as to agency) with certain modifications, the situation is akin to that in Redfoot v. J. T. Jenkins Co., 138 Cal.App.2d 108 [291 P.2d 134], where plaintiff-appellant requested two conflicting instructions on one subject. Both were refused, but the trial court read an instruction offered by the respondent which agreed in principle with one of the two requested by appellant. CA(8)(8) Quoting from Jansen v. Southern Pacific Co., 112 Cal.App.2d 833 [247 P.2d 581], the court said (p. 845): "It is well established that HN6'A party cannot complain of an instruction given at his own request or of an error in an instruction given at the instance of his adversary when he requests a substantially similar one.'" We agree with respondents that the doctrine of invited error is here applicable.

Finally, appellant contends that the trial court erred to her prejudice in instructing the jury that punitive damages could not be assessed against Dundee regardless of the right to such award from DeLay. CA(9)(9) Unless an employer personally participates in the wrongful [***12] acts, or previously authorized them, or subsequently ratifies the employee's acts with full knowledge of the facts, he is not liable in exemplary damages ( Deevy v. Tassi, 21 Cal.2d 109, 125 [130 P.2d 389]). Here the sole question related to Dundee's ratification of [*48] his codefendant's conduct. Respondents rely on Edmunds v. Atchison etc. Ry. Co., 174 Cal. 246, 250 [162 P. 1038], to the effect that a prospective plaintiff should do more than merely notify the principal of his claim -- he should also acquaint him with the facts and thus give the employer an opportunity to redress the wrong. The Edmunds case is cited in McChristian v. Popkin, 75 Cal.App.2d 249, 256 [171 P.2d 85], although this court there affirmed an award of punitive damages and held that appellant-employers had ample opportunity to learn of their employee's conduct and continued him in their service without making an investigation or attempting to redress the wrong. However, as in the previous point raised by appellant, extended discussion of the present problem would be purely academic. CA(10)(10) It has been settled law for many years that HN7where a jury returns a verdict in favor of [***13] the defendant on the main issue, errors in instructions bearing solely on the amount of damages present no ground for reversal. ( Wilhelm v. Donegan, 143 Cal. 50, 53-54 [76 P. 713]; Cook v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp., 169 Cal. 113, 115 [145 P. 1013]; Church v. Payne, 36 Cal.App.2d 382, 401 [97 P.2d 819]; De La Torre v. Johnson, supra, [**968] 378.) In the present state of the record, we must assume that the instruction complained of, though possibly subject to criticism, could not have influenced a verdict which was rendered, as in this case, less than an hour after the jury commenced its deliberations.

No reversible error being manifest, the judgment is affirmed.

-ZDN

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Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
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  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 
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TexLaw
TexLaw
Attorney
2718 Satisfied Customers
Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs