Vanderbilt Law Review

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All or nothing. For years this idea of absolutes has been a hallmark of tort law despite the inequities it has caused. Plaintiffs must either win a total victory or suffer total defeat. In recent years courts and legislatures have begun to recognize the injustice of the all-or-nothing approach and to replace it with rules that permit partial recoveries that are more equitably tailored to the particular facts of each case.' The most dramatic example of this more equitable approach is the nearly universal rejection of contributory negligence in favor of comparative fault in negligence cases. Almost all jurisdictions, however, still refuse to use comparative fault when defendant is alleged to have committed an intentional tort; in that case, the all-or-nothing approach still prevails.

Included in

Torts Commons