Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Distinction between Contributory Negligence and Composite Negligence


  1. It has already been referred to that when the plaintiff himself is responsible of Negligence as regards his personal safety and his personal lack of care contributes the harm which he has suffered, he is responsible of Contributory Negligence. In such case, the defendant is negligent closer to the plaintiff and the plaintiff is also negligent closer to his own self.

The loss to the plaintiff is the blended result of two factors, i.e., the defendant’s Negligence and his personal Contributory Negligence. Contributory Negligence is a defense. In a case of Contributory Negligence, the court docket has to see the extent to which the parties are at fault, there is apportionment of damages each in England and India. The defendant’s liability is reduced to the extent the plaintiff is observed responsible of Contributory Negligence. For example, if the conductor of a bus lets in a Passenger to travel on the roof of an overcrowded bus, and the driver, ignoring the presence of the passenger on the roof, swerves the bus to the right and as a result the passenger is hit by using the overhanging department of a tree and is thrown down and killed, there is Negligence on the section of the conductor and the driver. There is Contributory Negligence on the phase of the passenger travelling on the roof of the bus. In case, it is located that there is equal (50%) fault of both the sides, the defendant’s legal responsibility will be reduced by way of 50%.

When a character is injured as a result of the Negligence of two or more different persons, there is Composite Negligence on the phase of the people inflicting damages. According to Justice Shiv Dayal, “where a person is injured barring any Negligence on his section however as a result of the mixed effect of the Negligence of two different persons, it is not a case of Contributory Negligence in that sense; it is a case of what has been styled by Pollock as Injury by Composite Negligence”.

Thus, in Contributory Negligence, there is Negligence on the section of the plaintiff himself which contributes to the damage he has suffered, whereas in Composite Negligence, there is Negligence of two or extra defendants closer to the plaintiff, and the plaintiff himself is not to be blamed so a long way as the harm suffered through him is concerned.

  1. Another factor to be cited is that the liability of the folks responsible of Composite Negligence is joint and several. It has commonly been held that, in contrast to Contributory Negligence, there is no apportionment of damages payable through these responsible of the Composite Negligence. For instance, if, due to the fact of the Composite Negligence of A and B, damage has been triggered to Z, there will be a decree for the total amount in favor of Z towards A and B, making A and B together and severally liable: The courtroom will not go into the question as to how lots compensation is to be paid by A, and how a whole lot by using B, to Z.

In case of Contributory Negligence, there is apportionment of damages on the groundwork of fault of the plaintiff and the defendant, each of whom are to be blamed, whereas in the case of Composite Negligence, though extra than one defendants are to be blamed, there is to be a single decree for the total amount in opposition to all of them, except any apportionment of damages. The function was once as a result defined by way of Jain, in the United India Fire & General Insurance Co v. Sayar Kanwar:

Upon a consideration of the matter, it appears to us that where the Negligence of the claimant injured or the deceased additionally contributes to the going on of the accident, the quantity of compensation that the respondent will be required to pay shall be in share to the extent of his fault or Negligence, but where a person is injured or dies in an accident which takes place no longer on account of his Negligence, but because the drivers of the colliding cars have been negligent, the claimants am entitled to damages collectively and severally from the negligent respondents. It is no challenge of the Tribunal to apportion the damages between them.

Distinction between Contributory Negligence and Composite Negligence by Velanati Jyothirmai @ Lex Cliq

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