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3.9-20  Plaintiff's Duty to Use Faculties

Revised to January 1, 2008

The defendant has raised a special defense and claims that the plaintiff did not make a proper use of (his/her) senses or faculties to avoid the injury, did not keep a proper lookout, and was not watchful.  Under our law, the plaintiff is presumed to be in the exercise of due care; and if the defendant makes a claim to the contrary, the burden is on the defendant to prove it.

The defense is that the plaintiff failed to use due care to look out for (his/her) own safety.  That means that the plaintiff was not acting as a reasonably prudent or careful person would have acted in view of the circumstances that you find existed at the time.  If you find that the defendant has proved that the plaintiff was not using reasonable care to discover defects or dangerous conditions or to avoid such defects as (he/she) ought to have known about or ought to have been able to discover, then the defendant has proved the defense of contributory negligence and you must consider this negligence of the plaintiff in relation to that of the defendant.


General Statutes 52-114 (presumption of due care); Sitnik v. National Propane Corp., 151 Conn. 62, 65 (1963); Olshefski v. Stenner, 26 Conn. App. 220, 222-25 (1991).


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