Ziervogel v. Royal Packing Co.

225 S.W.2d 798

 

RULE:

Before a plaintiff can recover for a physical condition claimed to have resulted from the negligence of another, such condition must be pleaded or the evidence must establish the condition as being the inevitable or necessary result of injuries which are particularly set out in a petition. 

FACTS:

Plaintiff was hurt when her car and defendant's truck collided in an intersection. Plaintiff sued defendant to recover for her injuries. At trial, the court allowed plaintiff to introduce evidence of plaintiff's increased blood pressure, despite the fact that the plaintiff had not pleaded them in her complaint. The jury returned a verdict for the victim, and the defendant appeals from that ruling.

ISSUE:

Whether the trial court erred in allowing the jury to hear evidence of the plaintiff's high blood pressure when she had not included it in her complaint.

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

In reversing the lower court's decision, the Court held that the admission of the blood pressure evidence was prejudicial error. The fact that the defendant may have had some information about the plaintiff's increased blood pressure was not sufficient to put the defendant on legal notice that the plaintiff would claim damages for it, until she specifically stated the injury in her petition since that injury was not shown to be the necessary or inevitable result of the pleaded injuries. As a result, the plaintiff's increased blood pressure was a "special damage," and defendant could not be held liable for special damages because they were not pleaded in the injury victim's petition as required by statute.

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