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Baldhosky v. Hubbard

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 4, 2019

SUSAN HUBBARD, et al., Defendants.


         Attached are the court's jury instructions. The instructions are based on the parties' jointly proposed jury instructions, ECF No. 236, which I understand come largely from the Ninth Circuit Model Jury Instructions. I have included the first of defendants' separate proposed jury instructions, to which plaintiff no longer objects. See ECF No. 240 at 3 and ECF No. 254. I have not included plaintiffs separately proposed instruction or defendant's second separately proposed instruction. See ECF No. 238 and ECF No. 240 at 4. Plaintiffs separate instruction on wealth seems intended for use in state court when punitive damages are not at issue, see ECF No. 238 at 6, and defendants' instruction on causation seems geared specifically toward Monell claims, see City of Canton, Ohio v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 391-92 (1989). Objections are due by the close of business on December 6, 2019.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.



         Members of the jury:

         You are now the jury in this case. It is my duty to instruct you on the law.

         It is your duty to find the facts from all the evidence in the case. To those facts you will apply the law as I give it to you. You must follow the law as I give it to you whether you agree with it or not. And you must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices or sympathies. That means that you must decide the case solely on the evidence before you. You will recall that you took an oath to do so.

         At the end of the trial I will give you final instructions. It is the final instructions that will govern your duties.

         Please do not read into these instructions, or anything I may say or do, that I have an opinion regarding the evidence or what your verdict should be.


         To help you follow the evidence, I will give you a brief summary of the positions of the parties:

         This is a civil rights action brought under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Eighth Amendment protects individuals against cruel and unusual punishment while in government custody. The plaintiff in this case, Raymond Baldhosky, was formerly incarcerated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, also known as “CDCR, ” at CDCR's California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility. Mr. Baldhosky contends in this lawsuit that while incarcerated at that facility his Eighth Amendment rights were violated because the individual defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Each of the defendants was a state-employed healthcare provider at that facility; a physician, physician assistant, or nurse. Generally, Mr. Baldhosky contends that he developed a pressure sore on his buttocks and that the defendants deliberately failed to provide him timely and adequate medical treatment.

         As plaintiff, Mr. Baldhosky has the burden of proving these claims.

         Defendants deny these claims and contend that they properly addressed plaintiff's medical needs on those occasions that they saw or treated him.


         This is not an action against the State of California, or against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or any prison of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

         This is an action against defendants Byers, Dunn, Gonzalez, Grossi, Indendi, Kaylor, Metts, Nguyen, Peters, and Ruff.


         When a party has the burden of proving any claim by a preponderance of the evidence, it means you must be persuaded by the evidence that the claim is more probably true than not true.


         You should decide the case as to each defendant separately. Unless otherwise stated, the instructions apply to all parties.


         The evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are consists of:

1. the sworn testimony of any witness;
2. the exhibits which are received into evidence;
3. any facts to which the lawyers have agreed;
4. any facts that I may instruct you to accept as proved.


         In reaching your verdict, you may consider only the testimony and exhibits received into evidence. Certain things are not evidence, and you may not consider them in deciding what the facts are. I will list them for you:

1. Arguments and statements by lawyers are not evidence. The lawyers are not witnesses. What they say in their opening statements, closing arguments and at other times is intended to help you interpret the evidence, but it is not evidence. If the facts as you remember them differ from the way the lawyers have stated them, your memory of them controls.
2. Questions and objections by lawyers are not evidence. Attorneys have a duty to their clients to object when they believe a question is improper under the rules of evidence. You should not be influenced by the objection or by the court's ruling on it.
3. Testimony that is excluded or stricken, or that you are instructed to disregard, is not evidence and must not be considered. In addition, some evidence may be received only for a limited purpose; when I instruct you to consider certain evidence only for a limited purpose, you must do so and you may not consider that evidence for any other purpose.
4. Anything you may see or hear when the court was not in session is not evidence. You are to decide the case solely on the evidence received at the trial.


         Evidence may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial evidence is proof of one or more facts from which you could find another fact. You should consider both kinds of evidence. The law makes no distinction between the weight to be given to either direct or circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much weight to give to any evidence.

         By way of example, if you wake up in the morning and see that the sidewalk is wet, you may find from that fact that it rained during the night. However, other evidence, such as a turned-on garden hose, may provide a different explanation for the presence of water on the sidewalk. Therefore, before you decide that a fact has been proved by circumstantial evidence, you must consider all the evidence in the light of reason, experience and common sense.


         There are rules of evidence that control what can be received into evidence. When a lawyer asks a question or offers an exhibit into evidence and a lawyer on the other side thinks that it is not permitted by the rules of evidence, that lawyer may object. If I overrule the objection, the question may be answered or the exhibit received. If I sustain the objection, the question cannot be answered, and the exhibit cannot be received. Whenever I sustain an objection to a question, you must ignore the question and must not guess what the answer might have been.

         Sometimes I may order that evidence be stricken from the record and that you disregard or ignore that evidence. That means when you are deciding the case, you must not consider the stricken evidence for any purpose.


         In deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. You may believe everything a witness says, or part of it, or none of it.

         In considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into account:

1. the opportunity and ability of the witness to see or hear or know the things testified to;
2. the witness's memory;
3. the witness's manner while testifying;
4. the witness's interest in the outcome of the case and any bias or prejudice;
5. the witness's bias or prejudice, if any;
6. whether other evidence contradicted the witness's ...

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