contributory negligence doctrine – completely bars a plaintiff’s recovery if the damage suffered is partly the plaintiff’s own fault; in most jurisdictions, this defense has been superseded by the comparative negligence doctrine

     This page is continued from Civil Law Self-Help >>>> Section 1; Torts, Breach of Contract, and Assessing Liability >>>> Torts >>>> Basic Classifications of Torts >>>> Negligent Tort >>>> Negligence:

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contributory negligence:
(1822)

1. A plaintiff’s own negligence that played a part in causing the plaintiff‘s injury and that is significant enough (in a few jurisdictions) to bar the plaintiff from recovering damages.  *  While assumption of the risk denotes the voluntary incurring of the chance of an accident, contributory negligence denotes negligence that contributes to a particular accident that actually occurs. In some circumstances the two concepts can be difficult to distinguish.

2. A negligence-based legal defense that constitutes a bar to liability.  *  In most jurisdictions, this defense has been superseded by comparative negligence.

3. Rare. The negligence of a third party — neither the plaintiff nor the defendant — whose act or omission played a part in causing the plaintiff’s injury. [1]

     Excerpt from Thomas E. Holland’s The Elements of Jurisprudence (13th ed. 1924):

     “The contributory negligence of a third party is no excuse for the negligence of the defendant. [4]

contributory negligence doctrine:
(1911)

1. Torts. The principle that completely bars a plaintiff’s recovery if the damage suffered is partly the plaintiff’s own fault.  *  Most states have abolished this doctrine and have adopted instead a comparative-negligence analysis. 

distraction doctrine:
(1999)

1. The rule that a plaintiff may not be guilty of contributory negligence if the plaintiff’s attention was diverted from a known danger by a sufficient cause. [1]

References:

Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Thomas E. Holland, The Elements of Jurisprudence 154 (13th ed. 1924).

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