This is an excellent case for exploring the limits of comparative and contributing negligence. Cherelle May Dudfield, 18, is a New Zealand teenager who decided to flash passing cars. With her friends egging her own, she lifted her shirt. She succeeded in distracting one man who lost control of the car and ran her over.
Dudfield bounded off the “bonnet” (or hood) of the car and cracked the windshield on the four-lane road in the city of Invercargill, New Zealand.
She was given a $220 fine for disorderly conduct.
Yet, if she sued the driver, there would be a question of comparative negligence. In a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction, the question would be whether she was more than 50 percent at fault. If so, she would be barred from recovery. In a contributory negligence jurisdiction, she would most certainly be barred. In a pure comparative negligence jurisdiction, her percentage of negligence would be used to reduce the award. What percentage at fault is she in comparison to the driver? Should a driver be able to handle the vehicle while being flashed by pedestrian?
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