A potential example of an eggshell plaintiff is a person who is a previous victim of violence or abuse. Many times such persons are more susceptible to emotional distress injury if they are subsequently the target of verbal or physical abuse at work. In such a case--a hostile work environment case--the severity of the plaintiff's emotional distress injuries may be greater than a person who was not a prior victim of violence or abuse. The eggshell plaintiff rule protects this person, and permits a recovery for the more severe emotional distress injuries.
Another potential example of an eggshell plaintiff could be a person who suffered a physical injury of some sort previously, and because of this prior injury to their body, they are at risk for greater harm than someone without this history. If such a person is in an automobile accident and suffers a greater injury because of the prior injury, the eggshell plaintiff rule protects them and affords a path to recover on the greater injury.
Contact Mark D. Walters