[Editor's Note: The Florida Supreme Court's opinion in this case does not include a statement of the facts. The facts provided here are taken from the Florida District Court of Appeals' very brief summary of the factual background of this case in Jones v. Hoffman, 272 So.2d 529 (1973).]
William Harrison Jones, Jr. was killed in a car-truck accident. Jones's widow (plaintiff), in her individual capacity and as administratrix of Jones's estate, brought an action against Philip Hoffman and Pav-a-Way Corporation (defendants), asserting that Hoffman was negligently operating a truck owned by Pav-a-Way at the time of the accident. The defendants asserted a defense of contributory negligence. At trial, Jones requested a jury instruction on the parties' comparative negligence, but the trial judge refused. The jury found in favor of the defendants. The district court of appeal certified and submitted to the Supreme Court of Florida the question of whether, in a negligence case, the rule holding contributory negligence as a complete bar to a plaintiff’s recovery should be replaced with a theory of comparative negligence, which would allow a trier of fact to apportion damages based on the comparative negligence and damages of the involved parties.