crumbling skull ruleJoe Segen2016-12-15T15:34:02+00:00
crumbling skull rule
A legal doctrine related to the eggshell/thin skull rule (elsewhere on this website), which limits a tort defendant’s responsibilities for a plaintiff’s injuries to the plaintiff’s condition at the time of the alleged tort.
In Athley v Leonati (1996), 3 S.C.R. 458. the US Supreme Court said “The defendant need not put the plaintiff in a position better than his original position. The defendant is liable for the injuries caused, even if they are extreme, but need not compensate the plaintiff for any debilitating effects of the pre-existing condition which the plaintiff would have experienced anyway. The defendant is liable for the additional damage but not the pre-existing damage.”
Synonyms Crumbling skull defence, crumbling skull defense, crumbling skull doctrine, crumbling skull principle