California Court of Appeal
115 Cal. Rptr. 2d 843 (2002)
William Hill (plaintiff) sued Saad Matti and Hikmat Jabro (defendants), alleging that Matti beat and seriously injured him while yelling racial slurs outside of the convenience store owned by Jabro. Hill also alleged that Jabro yelled encouragement to Matti during the altercation. Hill included a claim for punitive damages and, through a motion, sought discovery of Matti’s and Jabro’s financial condition for use in evaluating the appropriate amount of punitive damages. Because the trial court believed that Hill only needed to make an initial, prima facie showing that his punitive-damages claim could succeed to get the financial discovery, the court only looked at the evidence submitted by Hill. The trial court determined that Hill had made a prima facie showing that he had a valid punitive-damages claim and granted the motion allowing Hill to obtain discovery of Matti’s and Jabro’s financial condition. Matti and Jabro appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McIntyre, J.)
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