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What Is Contributory Or Comparative Negligence?

Delaware has adopted the modified doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, if a claimant's negligence exceeds the combined negligence of all defendants, the claimant is barred from recovery. Otherwise, the claimant's recovery is diminished in proportion to his degree of negligence. Joint tortfeasors a right to contribution. If the tortfeasors' relative degrees of fault are disproportionate, making equal shares in contribution inequitable, the relative degree of fault of each tortfeasor will be considered in determining his pro rata share; otherwise, the tortfeasors' liability for contribution is apportioned equally without regard to their relative degree of fault. A settling joint tortfeasor is not entitled to contribution from a tortfeasor whose liability was not extinguished by the settlement.

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