Car vs. bicycle jury trial results in nearly equal apportionment of fault.
Rapp v. Taylor arose out of Jefferson County after Raap collided his car with Taylor's bicycle. The issue was a factual one: who caused the accident? The Defendant unsuccessfully argued for jury instructions at trial which would have indicated Taylor was at fault for not yielding the right of way and for riding on the sidewalk. It was undisputed that Taylor's bike entered the intersection from the sidewalk. "Louisville Metro Ordinance Section 74.01 provides, in relevant part: No person 11 years of age or older shall operate a bicycle on the sidewalks located within the geographical boundary limits of Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government ("Louisville Metro")." The judge properly denied both negligence per se' instructions the Defense requested.
The jury found both parties responsible for the collision. In determining the comparative fault percentages, the jury apportioned 55% to Raap the operator of the vehicle, and 45% to Taylor, the cyclist. Taylor was awarded $38,151.15 for past medical expenses, $50,000 for future medical expenses, $8,500 for lost wages, $25,000 in future lost wages, $50,000 for past pain and suffering, and $25,000 for future pain and suffering.
Based upon the jury's apportionment of fault, the 45% attributed to the Plaintiff reduced the total judgment amount to $98,158.13. Given the limited facts in the Court of Appeals' opinion regarding Taylor's medical treatment and injuries, and judging from the amount of the award alone, it seems the Plaintiff was satisfied with the damages award.