Seffert v. Los Angeles Transit Lines
Supreme Court of California
56 Cal.2d 498, 364 P.2d 337, 15 Cal.Rptr. 161 (1961)
On October 11, 1957 Seffert (plaintiff) was caught in the door of a bus run by Los Angeles Transit Lines (L.A. Transit) (defendant), and dragged some distance before being thrown to the ground. Before the accident Seffert was 42, healthy, and had been supporting herself for 20 years. As a result of the accident Seffert suffered severe, disabling, and permanent injuries, and will suffer pain for the rest of her life, which was estimated to be 34.9 years from the time of the trial. The trial took place in July and August 1959. After the accident Seffert underwent nine painful operations and was hospitalized for months. Future operations may be necessary. Seffert calculated her pecuniary losses as a total of doctor and hospital bills, drugs and other medical expenses, loss of earning between the time of the accident and the trial, future drug and other medical expenses, and possible future loss of earnings, for a total of $53,903.75. Seffert also claimed $134,000 in nonpecuniary damages including past and future pain and suffering, humiliation from being disfigured and crippled, and anxiety from fear that her leg will need to be amputated. The jury awarded Seffert all of her claimed damages, totaling $187,903.75. The trial court denied L.A. Transit’s motion for a new trial based on its claim that these damages are excessive as a matter of law. L.A. Transit appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Peters, J.)
Dissent (Traynor, 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 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 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.