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Handling Cases Involving “Eggshell” Plaintiffs - 6 CLE - April 18

This program focuses on effectively navigating cases involving "eggshell" plaintiffs. Eggshell plaintiffs are individuals who, due to their pre-existing vulnerabilities or conditions, may potentially suffer more severe injury than an average person would. This seminar will provide both plaintiff and defense attorneys with practical strategies and best practices for representing and defending, identifying key legal considerations, mitigating potential challenges, persuasive defense arguments, and perspectives from a professional jury consultant. Whether you're a seasoned litigator or new to handling such cases, this seminar offers valuable insights to enhance your legal expertise and better serve your clients.


Welcome and Introduction

- Teresa L. Todd, Program Chair

Segment One:

- What is an “eggshell plaintiff”?

- Types of “eggshell plaintiffs”

People with pre-existing non-symptomatic conditions

People with pre-existing symptomatic conditions with prior medical treatment

People who have serious medical conditions that are not related to the injuries for which they are making a claim

People who were disabled due to other conditions before their injury – Social Security Disability beneficiaries

People to whom surgery or other treatment had been recommended before their injury

- Indiana case law

- Jury Instructions

- Discovery rules

Segment Two:

- Client intake – screening the case

- Initial case preparation

Obtaining the Plaintiff’s medical records – prior to and since injury

Evaluating the Plaintiff

- How insurance carriers and defense attorneys view these cases – initial reactions

- Framing the issue / argument

Plaintiff’s perspective

Defense perspective

- Using a Plaintiff’s pre-existing conditions to Plaintiff’s advantage

More susceptible / vulnerable to a more serious injury

Easier to injure and more difficult to recover from injury

Low impact, minimal property damage collisions

- Plaintiff’s Answers To Interrogatories

Segment Three:

- Preparing the Plaintiff to be deposed

- Deposing the Plaintiff

- Medical Experts

Educating the expert regarding the law

Explanation of mechanism of injury

Treatment (including future treatment) with and without the injury / trauma for which the Plaintiff seeks recovery

Prognosis – permanency of symptoms and effects on activities with and without the injury / trauma for which the Plaintiff seeks recovery

Segment Four:

- Biggest mistakes Plaintiff’s attorneys make handling these cases

Plaintiff’s counsel’s perspective

Defense counsel’s perspective

- Best / most effective plaintiff’s arguments

- Most persuasive /effective defense arguments and how to counter them

- A jury consultant’s perspective

Voir dire

Opening statement


Final argument



Teresa L. Todd, Chair

Attorney at Law, Indianapolis

Christopher D. Cody

Hume Smith Geddes Green & Simmons, LLP, Indianapolis

George "Jay" Hoffman III

Hoffman & Newcomb, Franklin

Amy Pardieck

Perceptual Litigation, LLC, Bloomington

Daniel M. Witte

Travelers Staff Counsel, Indianapolis


Handling Cases Involving “Eggshell” Plaintiffs

6 CLE - Thursday, April 18; 9:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

LIVE IN-PERSON SEMINAR - ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

LIVE WEBCAST - From your home or office

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN • Premier Indiana CLE


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