Damages—Loss of Earnings—Measure of Recovery and Admissibility of Evidence of Prior Earnings and Employment
Plaintiff worked continuously as a welder from 1925 through 1950 when he quit welding and went into a business from which he was never able to realize a substantial income. In 1953, plaintiff, age 49 and in good health, was permanently and totally disabled in an auto accident. In his action for damages, evidence was admitted to show the prevailing wages paid to welders in plaintiff’s community as well as plaintiff’s own earnings as a welder prior to 1951. A substantial part of these earnings was derived from employment outside of the community. On appeal, Held: admissibility of such evidence is in the sound discretion of the trial court and no abuse of discretion was shown. The precise basis upon which the court deemed this evidence to be relevant, however, is unclear. The opinion can be read as sanctioning its use by the jury for the purpose of making either one of two quite different determinations, viz., (1) in fixing the level of plaintiff’s “future earnings . . . but for the injury”; or (2) in computing the amount recoverable for “permanent impairment or loss of earning capacity.” At no point does the opinion recognize any distinction between the two determinations.
I. Measure of Recovery
II. Admissibility of Evidence of Prior Earnings and Employment
Philip C. Sorenson,
Damages—Loss of Earnings—Measure of Recovery and Admissibility of Evidence of Prior Earnings and Employment,
36 Neb. L. Rev. 605
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol36/iss4/8