Li (plaintiff) was driving and attempted to cross three lanes of oncoming traffic to enter a service station. At the same time, a car operated by Yellow Cab Co. of California (Yellow Cab) (defendant) was traveling at an excessive speed and ran a yellow light just before striking Li’s car. Li suffered injuries and brought suit against Yellow Cab for negligence. The trial court applied the doctrine of contributory negligence and held Li was completely barred from recovery. Li appealed to the California Supreme Court.