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Until 1945 it was a complete defence to a claim of Negligence that the claimant was himself to blame, even slightly, for the loss or damage he suffered. As a result, a person who was badly and obviously wronged could end up losing out in a tort action. The Law reform contributory negligence act (1945) eliminates the defence of contributory negligence, and in its place gives the courts the power to reduce the award of damages in proportion to the claimant's share of the blame.