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22.2 Damages – Pre-Existing or Independent Condition

Pre-Existing or Independent Condition

A party is not entitled to recover any damages for pain and suffering, loss of income, or other alleged injuries, not caused by [defendant’s name].  Therefore, if you find that [plaintiff’s name] had the injuries for which [he/she] claims here before the accident or apart from the accident, then I instruct you that for the portion of the injuries that you find were not caused by the accident, there can be no recovery by [plaintiff’s name].

{CommentSee also Jury Instr. No. 10.4, “Susceptible Plaintiff,” for situations in which the extent of the injuries suffered is unexpectedly high due to the unusual physical or mental condition of the plaintiff before the injury occurred.}


Braunstein v. Peoples Ry. Co., Del. Super., 78 A. 609, 611 (1910).  See also, supra, Jury Instr. No. 10.1 (Proximate Cause).

Credit: Delaware Superior Court