Associated Dairies negligence caused Jobling a back injury that subsequently limited him to light work. After this Jobling developed a spinal disease unrelated to the accident that caused him to be totally incapable of work. At the lower courts he was granted damages up to the point he had to withdraw from work which he appealed.
- Is the respondent liable for loss of earnings on the basis of the partial incapacity that would have represented the remainder of the appellant's working life, or only up to the time of complete incapacity?
Keith of Kinkel says that the fact that even if there had not been an accident there would still have been losses cannot be disregarded. Therefore, it seems like the damages will be limited to the period before the disease was discovered, or at least reduced. However, he goes on to say that in cases where there are two subsequent tortfeasors, it is unreasonable if the damage assessment to the second party does not take the previous incapacitation into effect. The total damage paid to Jobling must be the overall damage from all of the injuries, but Associated Dairies should share this burden fairly depending on the circumstances.
Subsequent tortfeasors must have their damages assessed while taking the first injury into account.