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      CCP 1812     


Art. 1812.  Special verdicts

A.  The court may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding upon each issue of fact.  In that event, the court may submit to the jury written questions susceptible of categorical or other brief answer, or may submit written forms of the several special findings which might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence, or may use any other appropriate method of submitting the issues and requiring the written findings thereon.  The court shall give to the jury such explanation and instruction concerning the matter submitted as may be necessary to enable the jury to make its findings upon each issue.  If the court omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives his right to a trial by jury of the issue omitted unless, before the jury retires, he demands its submission to the jury.  As to an issue omitted without such demand the court may make a finding, or if it fails to do so, it shall be presumed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment on the special verdict.

B.  The court shall inform the parties within a reasonable time prior to their argument to the jury of the special verdict form and instructions it intends to submit to the jury and the parties shall be given a reasonable opportunity to make objections.

C.  In cases to recover damages for injury, death, or loss, the court at the request of any party shall submit to the jury special written questions inquiring as to:

(1)  Whether a party from whom damages are claimed, or the person for whom such party is legally responsible, was at fault, and, if so:

(a)  Whether such fault was a legal cause of the damages, and, if so:

(b)  The degree of such fault, expressed in percentage.

(2)(a)  If appropriate under the facts adduced at trial, whether another party or nonparty, other than the person suffering injury, death, or loss, was at fault, and, if so:

(i)  Whether such fault was a legal cause of the damages, and, if so:

(ii)  The degree of such fault, expressed in percentage.

(b)  For purposes of this Paragraph, nonparty means a person alleged by any party to be at fault, including but not limited to:

(i)  A person who has obtained a release from liability from the person suffering injury, death, or loss.

(ii)  A person who exists but whose identity is unknown.

(iii)  A person who may be immune from suit because of immunity granted by statute.

(3)  If appropriate, whether there was negligence attributable to any party claiming damages, and, if so:

(a)  Whether such negligence was a legal cause of the damages, and, if so:

(b)  The degree of such negligence, expressed in percentage.

(4)  The total amount of special damages and the total amount of general damages sustained as a result of the injury, death, or loss, expressed in dollars, and, if appropriate, the total amount of exemplary damages to be awarded.

D.  The court shall then enter judgment in conformity with the jury's answers to these special questions and according to applicable law.

Acts 1983, No. 534, §8; Acts 1985, No. 143, §1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 65, §1, eff. May 9, 1996.

{{NOTE:  SEE ACTS 1985, NO. 143, §1.}}

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