Brief Fact Summary. The plaintiff suffered whiplash and other injuries as a result of a car crash. His injuries aggravated a pre-existing schizophrenic condition.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The defendant must take the plaintiff as he finds him and maybe liable fore aggravating pre-existing illnesses.
The plaintiff was injured as a result of a four-car pileup caused by the defendant’s negligence. Although the plaintiff’s initial injuries were relatively minor, whiplash and lower back pain, the incapacity resulted in aggravating a pre-existing paranoid schizophrenic condition, which has completely debilitated the plaintiff’s life.
Issue. Whether the defendant is liable for the schizophrenic condition of the plaintiff.
Held. The defendant is liable for aggravating the plaintiff’s pre-existing psychological condition.
Discussion. Points of Law - for Law School Success
The circumstances of those cases as well as those of the case before us illustrate the truth of the old axiom that a defendant must take a plaintiff as he finds him and hence may be held liable in damages for aggravation of a preexisting illness. View Full Point of Law
The evidence demonstrates that the plaintiff lead a normal active life before suffering minor physical injuries in the car accident. Expert medical testimony explained how the injuries lead the plaintiff to exhibit schizophrenic behaviors. The defendant must take the plaintiff as they find him. The plaintiff must demonstrate a predisposition to the resultant psychological illness and in this case he did.