In contrast, contributory negligence
is a failure on the part of a plaintiff to take reasonable care for his or her own safety, where such failure is a cause of the damage or harm suffered by the plaintiff.
4) If the jury determines that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence
, it must then decide whether the plaintiffs negligence was qualitatively more egregious than the collective negligence of the other parties to the law suit.
(70) Legal scholars have posited that the contributory negligence
rule became popular and disseminated throughout the United States as a method of preventing plaintiff-oriented juries from awarding large verdicts against burgeoning businesses (especially the railroad industry) during the Industrial Era.
(a) The contributory negligence
of any party in a civil action shall not bar such party or such party's legal representative from recovering damages for negligence resulting in death, personal injury, property damage or economic loss, if such party's negligence was less than the causal negligence of the party or parties against whom claim for recovery is made, but the award of damages to any party in such action shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributed to such party.
jurisdictions still observe a contributory negligence
But National Surety has ebbed in importance because the comparative negligence doctrine has gradually supplanted the contributory negligence
doctrine--indeed, only the District of Columbia and the states of Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia still subscribe to the latter doctrine.
Second, where liability has been established, the defense of contributory negligence
remains available to the defendant.
LEGAL COMMENTARY: The court concluded that the Circuit Court did not abuse its discretion in granting the plaintiff a new trial on her postrial motion when the court determined that it erred in instructing the jury on contributory negligence
where the jury found Northwestern liable in the suicide of the decedent, and the record evidence supported the court's ruling that the decedent was completely devoid of reason at the time of her suicide.
He said: "Even if he had looked up, I would not have been of the view that there was contributory negligence
on his part.
Between 1950 (when only a handful of state jurisdictions applied comparative negligence to negligence actions) and the present, comparative negligence, whereby plaintiffs are allowed to seek reduced damages in cases where their own negligence played a part, has become the prevailing doctrine across the United States, replacing traditional contributory negligence
doctrine in all but four states.
Judge John Leighton Williams QC made a finding of 15% "contributory negligence
" against Mrs Cheung, saying she knew the floor could be slippery when wet and "should have been aware of the risk".
It should be noted that in some states contributory negligence
may be an absolute bar to recovery, despite the fact that another's negligence may have caused or contributed to what occurred.