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The last clear chance is a doctrine in the law of torts that is employed in contributory negligence jurisdictions. Under this doctrine, a negligent plaintiff can nonetheless recover if they are able to show that the defendant had the last opportunity to avoid the accident. Though the stated rationale has differed depending on the court adopting the doctrine, the underlying idea was to mitigate the harshness of the contributory negligence rule. The defendant can also use this doctrine as a defense. If the plaintiff has the last clear chance to avoid the accident, the defendant will not be liable. In the United States, Great Britain and Canada, this doctrine is mostly a historical curiosity, as the comparative negligence rule has displaced contributory negligence in almost every state.

Davies v. Mann- 152 Eng. Rep. 588 (1842)- This case introduced the doctrine.



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