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In McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992) the court adopted a modified form of comparative fault under which a plaintiff whose negligence is less than that of a defendant may recover damages in an amount reduced in proportion to the percentage of the plaintiff's own negligence. 833 S.W.2d at 57. Based on notions of fairness and justice, the court abolished the outdated doctrine of contributory negligence and yet stressed that 'a particular defendant [is] liable only for the percentage of a plaintiff's damages occasioned by that defendant's negligence.' McIntyre, 833 S.W.2d at 58. Moreover, to provide guidance in future cases a defendant is permitted to show that a non-party caused or contributed to the damages for which the plaintiff seeks recovery. Id.

Since McIntyre, it has clarified the distinction between comparative negligence and comparative fault. The former is the 'measure of the plaintiff's negligence in percentage terms used for the purpose of reducing the plaintiff's recovery from the defendant.' The latter is defined as 'those principles which encompass the determination of how to apportion damage recovery among multiple or joint tortfeasors according to the percentage of fault attributed to those actors ...

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