The purpose of this essay is to argue that the time has now come for Virginia, by judicial or legislative action, to abolish its archaic common law tort defense of contributory negligence and replace it with a comparative negligence defense. Adopting a comparative negligence defense would more equitably and more fairly recognize and apportion damages according to the bedrock underlying tort legal principles of accountability, deterrence, and distribution of loss.
Peter Nash Swisher, Virginia Should Abolish the Archaic Tort Defense of Contributory Negligence and Adopt a Comparative Negligence Defense in its Place, 46 U. Rich. L. Rev. 359 (2011).