A Visalia man was recovering from a fight for his life with pancreatic cancer. His weight had dropped by almost 50% during his struggle, and he was left weak, fragile, and permanently disabled.
Unfortunately, he was rear-ended by a careless driver during his recovery. The impact was minor—it caused only $170 in property damage to the rear bumper. However, due to his fragile state, he was left with permanent injuries.
Following the accident the victim felt persistent pain in his neck, and eventually required laminoplasty and fusion in his cervical spine. Shortly after the surgery doctors discovered that he had suffered a SLAP tear (superior labral tear from anterior to posterior) in his shoulder which also required surgical intervention.
The insurance company doubted that the victim’s neck and shoulder problems were related to the accident, and hesitated to compensate the victim over such a small accident. However, during litigation the Dunnion Law Firm successfully argued that under California’s "eggshell plaintiff" rule, a defendant is liable for all damage caused by an accident, even if certain damages would not occur in the average person. In otherwords, one must "take the victim as he finds him."