Spivey (plaintiff), a female, and Battaglia (defendant), a male, were coworkers. One day Battaglia, in an effort to tease Spivey, intentionally put his arm around her, pulled her head towards him and hugged her. Spivey was injured as a result of the unsolicited hug. Spivey sued Battaglia in the Circuit Court of Orange County, Florida for (1) negligence, and (2) assault and battery. In his defense Battaglia asserted that his actions constituted assault and battery as a matter of law and therefore Spivey's lawsuit is barred by the statute of limitations for assault and battery. The trial court granted Battaglia’s motion for summary judgment on this basis. Spivey appealed to the District Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s decision. Spivey appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Florida.