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Under comparative negligence a plaintiff's simple negligence can be compared with the defendant's 'willful and wanton conduct,' see State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Mendenhall, 164 Ill. App. 3d 58, 517 N.E.2d 341, 115 Ill. Dec. 139 (1987); see also Bofman v. Material Service Corp., 125 Ill. App. 3d 1053, 466 N.E.2d 1064, 81 Ill. Dec. 262 (1984); Soucie v. Drago Amusements Co., 145 Ill. App. 3d 348, 495 N.E.2d 997, 99 Ill. Dec. 262 (1986). Other recent cases allow such comparisons as well.


Recent cases have permitted a comparison of reckless, willful, or wanton conduct with negligent conduct. See Williams v. Thude, 188 Ariz. 257, 260, 934 P.2d 1349, 1351 (1997); Natseway v. City of Tempe, 184 Ariz. 374, 376-77, 909 P.2d 441, 443-44 (App. 1995); Wareing v. Falk, 182 Ariz. 495, 500, 897 P.2d 1381, 1386 (App. 1995). 


Under contributory negligence when the defendant's conduct is willful and wanton, the plaintiff's own mere negligence could not be used to offset his recovery. Prior to the enactment of comparative negligence, the rule preventing comparison of willful and wanton conduct and mere negligence served to ameliorate the harshness of the defense ...

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