eggshell skull doctrine


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A rule that holds a tortfeasor liable for all consequences resulting from 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 the law, a tortfeasor cannot claim his unawareness of the victim’s skull fragility as a defense for the consequence of the wrongful contact

eggshell skull doctrine

A forensic principle based on a largely imaginary possibility. If someone suffers an injury that might be expected to cause moderate but not serious damage, but that person has a pre-existing weakness so that the effects of the injury are severe, the full liability still rests with the defendant. Skulls are frequently much thicker than average, but the eggshell skull is virtually unknown.