Torts II, Pages 418–420

Bruckman v. Pena

Colorado Court of Appeals, 1971

Facts:

Plaintiff was injured in a car accident with defendants' truck. A year later plaintiff was in an another accident aggravating his injuries. He then sued defendants for his injuries from the first collision.

Procedural History:

The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff of $50,000 after being instructed to apportion damages between the accidents if possible, but to find the defendants liable for the entire disability if the evidence does not permit such an apportionment.

Issue:

Was it in error to instruct the jury to find the defendants liable for injuries aggravated by another if they could not be apportioned?

Rule/Holding:

A defendant cannot be held liable for a separate subsequent injury, whether or not such damage can be apportioned between the two injuries.

Judgment:

Reversed and remanded for a new trial on the issue of damages.

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