Alvin Davenport (plaintiff) rented a condominium on the top floor of a building owned by Cotton Hope Plantation Horizontal Property Regime (Cotton Hope) (defendant). There were three stairways leading to the top floor. Davenport notified Cotton Hope that the lighting in the stairway closest to his unit was not working, but he continued to use that stairway. Davenport tripped and was injured on the darkened stairway, and he brought suit against Cotton Hope. The trial court directed a verdict against Davenport based on his assumption of the risk. The trial court also found that even if comparative negligence applied, Davenport was more than 50 percent negligent. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the doctrine of assumption of risk had been subsumed by South Carolina's adoption of comparative negligence, and that the relative negligence of Davenport and Cotton Hope was a factual matter that the jury should have decided. The South Carolina Supreme Court granted certiorari.