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Contributory Negligence

Contributory Negligence

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by Fillmore Buckner, M.D., J.D.
The doctrine of contributory negligence evolved from 19th century economic legal policy seeking to protect America?s fledgling industries from liability for injuries resulting from their activities. These policies resulted in an anti-claimant environment that made it difficult for any plaintiff, including malpractice plaintiffs, to recover for their injuries. Since the onset of the 20th century, courts, spurred by state and federal legislative acts, have become more even-handed, and contributory negligence has become a limited defense in malpractice cases.