Contributory fault defenses

Ed Norton, a city maintenance worker, is inspecting a sewer line. To access the sewer line he removes a manhole cover and climbs into the sewer line. City policy requires that protective barriers be placed around any open manholes but Ed is in a hurry so instead he sets out a warning sign and leaves the flashing yellow light on over his truck. Betsy is walking along the street texting with her boyfriend. Not watching where she is going Betsy falls into the manhole and suffers serious injuries.  Betsy sues Ed in negligence.

1. Assume that Betsy suffered $50,000 in damages.  Discuss the contributory fault defenses that Ed might assert and how the suit would be resolved under the different approaches.

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