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Chapter 11

DEFENSES IN NEGLIGENCE ACTIONS

This chapter examines various defenses that can be asserted by a defendant in a negligence action. The most important concepts are:
  • Contributory negligence:  At common law, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies. The doctrine provides that a plaintiff who is negligent, and whose negligence is a proximate cause of his injuries, is totally barred from recovery.
    • Last Clear Chance:  The doctrine of “Last Clear Chance” acts as a limit on the contributory negligence defense. If, just before the accident, D had an opportunity to prevent the harm, the existence of this opportunity (the last clear chance) wipes out the effect of P’s contributory negligence.
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