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Legal Memorandum: Reference to Insurance in Injury Cases

Issue: Is it proper to reference the existence of insurance in an injury case in California?

Area of Law: Insurance Law, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Existence of insurance; Injury
Jurisdiction: California, Federal
Cited Cases: 130 Cal. Rptr. 786; 2 Cal. App. 2d 134
Cited Statutes: Cal. Evid. Code § 1155
Date: 09/01/2008

In California, it has long been improper to make reference in an injury case to the existence of insurance.  Gaumnitz v. Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America, 2 Cal. App. 2d 134, 139-140 (1934); Cal. Evid. Code § 1155.  There must be showing of an actual prejudice and indirect references to insurance are generally not sufficient.  Neumann v. Bishop, 130 Cal. Rptr. 786, 800, 59 Cal App. 3d 451 (1976).

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