WALT DISNEY WORLD CO., et al., Petitioners,
Aloysia WOOD, et al., Respondents.
Supreme Court of Florida.
(with professor edits)
Aloysia Wood was injured in November 1971 at the grand prix attraction at Walt Disney World (Disney), when her fiance, Daniel Wood, rammed from the rear the vehicle which she was driving. Aloysia Wood filed suit against Disney, and Disney sought contribution from Daniel Wood After trial, the jury returned a verdict finding Aloysia Wood 14% at fault, Daniel Wood 85% at fault, and Disney 1% at fault. The jury assessed Wood's damages at $75,000. The court entered judgment against Disney for 86% of the damages. Disney subsequently moved to alter the judgment to reflect the jury's finding that Disney was only 1% at fault. The court denied the motion. On appeal, the fourth district affirmed the judgment **** In Hoffman v. Jones, 280 So.2d 431 (Fla. 1973), this Court discarded the rule of contributory negligence, which Florida had followed since at least 1886, and adopted the pure comparative negligence standard. **** In adopting comparative negligence, this Court expressly declared two purposes for the change in judicial policy: (1) To allow a jury to apportion fault as it sees fit between negligent parties whose negligence was part of the legal and proximate cause of any loss or injury; and (2) To apportion the total damages resulting from the loss or injury according to the proportionate fault of each party.***** The real issue before us is whether we should now replace the doctrine of joint and several liability with one in which the liability of codefendants to the plaintiff is apportioned according to each defendant's respective fault. According to Disney, this Court in Hoffman set for itself the goal of creating a tort system that fairly and equitably allocated damages according to the degrees of fault. Therefore, a defendant should only be held responsible to the extent of his fault in the same way as a...