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17 W. Res. L. Rev. 589 (1965-1966)
Legal Aspects of Injury to Appearance

handle is hein.journals/cwrlrv17 and id is 601 raw text is: 1965]

Legal Aspects of Injury to Appearance
A     DISCUSSION OF THE LEGAL ASPECTS of disfigurement requires
an introduction which dearly defines and limits the field of in-
quiry. The purpose of this Note is not to set before the reader a
thorough study of all types of disfigurement, but to concentrate on
the legal effects of injury to one's appearance. Obviously, it is diffi-
cult to separate the scar from the pain, loss, and expense of the pre-
ceding injury, but through an examination of the cases it will become
apparent that there are distinct factors relevant to recovery for the
scar as an injury in and of itself.1 Injuries to the appearance will be
analyzed, as will secondary complications resulting from the scar
injury itself. A basic question will be addressed throughout the
discussion: what are the legal implications of injuries to the plain-
tiff's appearance and of the psychic injuries, malfunction of a body
part, and muscle spasms which may also be directly connected to
scar tissue formation?
Before examining the legal aspects of this subject, a brief sur-
vey of the medical classifications and definitions is advisable. Medi-
cal classifications for scars are being utilized by the courts with in-
creasing frequency,' for the medical experience with respect to prog-
nosis, recovery, and cosmetic repairs is relevant to a determination
of damages.
The scientific name for a scar is cicatrix.'3 It has been defined
as the mark left on the skin after the healing of a wound or sore; an
indentation or mark made by use, motion, or contact;4 and, perhaps
best, as a break in the continuity of tissue.5 Skin is the tissue most
frequently involved but bones, cartilage, tendons, muscles, fat, and
nerves can also be subject to scarring. Focusing on the skin tis-
IMorley's Case, 328 Mass. 148, 102 N.E.2d 493 (1951); Baxter v. W. H. Arthur
Co., 216 N.C. 276, 4 S.E.2d 621 (1939); Shillinglaw v. Springs Cotton Mills, 209
S.C. 379, 40 S.E.2d 502 (1946).
In the area of workmen's compensation, the distinction between the preceding injury
and the resulting scar is markedly clear since many states provide for an award based
specifically on the disabling effect of the scar itself. See text accompanying note 105,
2Palmer v. Brooks, 350 Mo. 1055, 169 S.W.2d 906 (1943) (keloid scar tissue);
Schoen v. Wolfson, 263 Ill. App. 414 (1931) (hypertrophic scar tissue).
3 14 C.J.S. Cicartrix § 118 (1939).
4 WEBSrR's NEw WoRLD DICrIONARY 1301 (College Ed. 1958).
5 Dick, Lacerations and Scarring, 3 TRAuMA No. 5, at 3 (1962).

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