Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

"[Tort] damage award is individualized to the particular accident and the circumstances of the particular plaintiff...Imagine a series of drivers each of whom ignores a stop sign and drives into an intersection, hitting a pedestrian. Each driver commits an identical act of negligence, but pays a very different damage award. The first driver delivers only a glancing blow, so the pedestrian is only slightly bruised. That driver's damages will be trivial. The second driver also delivers a glancing blow, but the pedestrian suffers from a degenerative bone disease, so the slight touch of the car causes major fractures of both legs. Under the rule that the defendant 'takes the victim as he finds him,' the defendant is liable for all of the plaintiff's huge medical bills and substantial income loss. The third driver runs over the pedestrian, seriously injuring him, but this pedestrian is an ailing elderly person with a short life expectancy and no job, so the damages for future economic and non-economic losses are small. The fourth driver also runs over the pedestrian, but the pedestrian happens to be Donald Trump, so the driver is liable for Trump's lost earning capacity in the tens of millions of dollars." -From, "Law 101" By: Jay M. Feinman

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