As is readily apprehended, contributory negligence in the defense of a product liability action is a can of worms. But, if it is recognized that there is no such thing as "contributory negligence" and that the defense contemplated is that of abnormal, unintended, or unforeseen use, or is that of assumed risk, or that of lack of due care, then there may perhaps be order brought out of chaos. However, it is strongly suggested that even these defenses are, in the absence of uncontrovertible facts, no panacea for defendants. There are much better ways to beat a product liability claim than relying on contributory negligence, an illusory defense.
George E. Bushnell Jr., Illusory Defense of Contributory Negligence in Product Liability, 12 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 412 (1963)