From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Rodriguez v. McDonnell Douglas Corporation
California Court of Appeal
151 Cal. Rptr. 399 (1978)
In 1970, Richard Rodriguez (plaintiff) was 22 years old and healthy. Rodriguez had been married to his wife, Mary Anne, for 16 months. Rodriguez was an apprentice sprinkler fitter. Rodriguez was working on a project to modify a hangar for the McDonnell Douglas Corp. (defendant) when a 630-pound pipe fell on him. The pipe hit Rodriguez’s helmet, back, and legs. Rodriguez became triplegic; meaning paralyzed from the chest down and lacking bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Rodriguez underwent surgeries to address complications involving his stomach, hand, arm, and bladder. Rodriguez received around-the-clock care from his wife. Rodriguez required help to dress and undress, bathe, change his artificial bladder, and attend to skin sores. Rodriguez sued McDonnell Douglas, together with the project’s general contractor and a subcontractor (defendants). At trial, Rodriguez submitted evidence about his loss of future earnings, and an economist testified as to Rodriguez’s likely earnings trajectory. The jury found the contractors negligent and awarded Rodriguez general damages of over $4 million. The defendants appealed, alleging that the damages were so large that the jury must have acted out of passion and prejudice.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Jefferson, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.