eggshell skull rule

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eggshell skull rule2016-12-15T22:08:46+00:00

eggshell skull rule 

eggshell skull rule image from New Medical Terms

eggshell skull rule


A legal doctrine which holds a tortfeasor liable for all consequences of a tortious and/or negligent act that led to the injury of another person, regardless of whether the victim was unusually susceptible to harm.

The term refers to a hypothetical person with a skull as delicate as the shell of an egg. Under this principle, a tortfeasor cannot claim unawareness of the victim’s skull fragility as a defence for the consequence of the wrongful contact, because in the words of Lord Justice Lawton in R v. Blaue (1975), defendants must “take their victims as they find them.

The rule is based on a case in English common law, Dulieu v. White & Sons, 2 KB 669 (1901), which held, If a man is negligently … injured, it is no answer to the sufferer’s claim for damage that he would have suffered less injury, or no injury at all, if he had not had an unusually thin skull or an unusually weak heart.

Synonyms Eggshell defence, eggshell principle, eggshell skull doctrine, thin skull defence, thin skull defense, thin skull doctrine.

See Crumbling skull rule (elsewhere on this website) 


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