McLaughlin v. BNSF Railway Co., 2012COA92 (June 7, 2012)

The “eggshell skull” is a memorable torts doctrine from law school.  Less memorable is the apportionment of damages for aggravation of a pre-existing condition.  Both address how to award damages to an injury-prone person. The former provides that a tortfeasor takes a person as they are, including pre-existing conditions, and pays for all damages caused.  The latter provides that a tortfeasor does not pay for damages it did not actually cause, even if the person is already injured because of a pre-existing condition.  The distinction is fine, but, as the court of appeals found, the difference is a tortfeasor pays for everything if a plaintiff has an asymptomatic pre-existing condition, but partial damages if he/she has a symptomatic pre-existing condition. The court also determined that disability benefits are not a collateral source and not subtracted from total damages.


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Filed under Personal Injury, Torts

One response to “McLaughlin v. BNSF Railway Co., 2012COA92 (June 7, 2012)

  1. Pingback: March Supreme Court Certiorari Grants and Issues Justices Would Have Granted | Colorado Litigation Report ™

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