News By/Courtesy: Nirbha Dhawan | 21 Oct 2020 21:39pm IST


  • Rule of eggshell skull
  • Vosburg vs Putney case
  • Claiming the rule of eggshell skull

Playing any sort of sports brings a team spirit within you to play along, but in cognate, with this, there also comes a grudge or feeling of anger against the opposition. And there has been a lot of instances where we have seen players taking out their anger in the form of physical potency on other players with an intention to hurt them.

Suppose we see a player sledding the opposite team and in the heat of the moment a respective player uses physical strength on others and hurts him badly. The hurt caused was of a minimal nature. The one where a normal person would have been able to bear it. But supposedly the player who was injured had a previous injury in its body. From the outside no one was able to judge the same, yet the player had a damaged organ and the harm caused to him accelerated the injury and left him paralyzed or if the injury is proven to be fatal, then the offender is held liable for the damage which is caused even if the harm was slightly done.


It is derived from a thought that supposes a person has an extremely thin skull, thinner than that of a normal person just like an eggshell, and the same person if hit on his head will suffer from severe damage. If a standard person was to be hit with some force, the consequences would not have been so serious. But because of the prevalent situation, the victim is likely to suffer more harm. 


From a similar situation, there was derived the rule of Eggshell skull.

It is always asked the party at fault that there should have been precautions taken doing any task which is likely to cause damage to others. It is the duty of each other to hold precautions. But many times people act recklessly. It could be a voluntary act or an involuntary act. But willingly or unwillingly, if a person was incautious of his act, and he violated his duty of care and the same resulted in causing injuries to a person, then you would be liable for the damage caused. There the person cannot take the defense of frailty or the already deteriorated health of the victim. This rule was established to save the victims from being exploited by the offenders or the insurance companies. When there is any harm caused, insurance people hold inflexible rules and also tries to get their hands off. Here they will hold a defense that the recent injury didn't cause the harm, besides it was already weakened the well-being of the victim which caught him into such a situation. To protect the victim from such abuse courts came up with this rule.


This rule was developed in the case was Vosburg v. Putney wherein the case was that a boy was kicked in the Shin by another boy. The boys were at the age of 14 and 11 respectively. When the boy kicked, he was not aware of the previous injury in the leg of the other boy. Thus when he was kicked, the boy's health worsened and he was left with a weakness in his leg for the rest of his life. Thus the boy who kicked was held liable as the previous injury was no defense which could be brought up.


Hence to claim the rule of the eggshell skull, the victim has to show the physical injuries which were suffered by him. The previous ones and the new ones should be visible to the court so as to determine the liability of the offender.


This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion, etcetera. This article is based purely on the author’s personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 22 Oct 2020 13:58pm IST

Tags : protect the victim, eggshell skull, show physical injuries

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