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Spaulding v. Zimmerman

Minnesota Supreme Court
116 N.W.2d 704 (Minn. 1962)



David Spaulding (plaintiff), age 20, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by John Zimmerman (defendant) when Zimmerman crashed his car into a vehicle driven by Florian Ledermann (defendant). Spaulding suffered severe injuries as a result. Spaulding’s father, Theodore, filed suit against Zimmerman and Ledermann (collectively defendants) on Spaulding’s behalf. Prior to trial, Spaulding was examined by a physician hired by defendants. The physician found that Spaulding suffered from an aortic aneurysm, possibly resulting from the accident. A physician hired by Spaulding did not find the existence of the aneurysm and defendants did not inform Spaulding’s attorney of the aneurysm. Thereafter, the trial court approved a $6,500 settlement presented by the parties that did not reference the aneurysm as a possible injury. Two years later, David’s aneurysm was discovered when he had a physical checkup and underwent surgery to correct the condition. David filed suit against defendants for additional damages due to the more serious injuries and filed a motion to vacate the original settlement agreement. The trial court vacated the original settlement agreement. Defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gallagher, J.)

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