Chapter 40: Last Clear Chance Rule
The Case: McIntyre v. Ballentine , 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992).
The Basic Facts: In this motor vehicle case the parties were found equally at fault before comparative fault was adopted and contributory negligence by the plaintiff was an absolute bar to recovery. This is the case that adopted modified comparative fault in Tennessee.
The Bottom Line:
- "First, and most obviously, the [adoption of modified comparative negligence] makes the doctrines of remote contributory negligence and last clear chance obsolete. The circumstances formerly taken into account by those two doctrines will henceforth be addressed when assessing relative degrees of fault." 833 S.W.2d at 57.
Other Sources of Note: Eaton v. McLain , 891 S.W.2d 587, 592 (Tenn. 1994) (last clear chance included as a factor in fault allocation).
Recent Cases: Gray v. Roten, No. W2010-00614-COA-R3-CV, 2011 WL 236115 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2011) (explaining that although the last clear chance doctrine is dead in Tennessee, the trier of fact can consider who had the last reasonable chance to avoid an injury in assessing percentages of fault).