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ARTICLE ID 192773

$________ GROSS – NEGLIGENT OPENING OF VEHICLE DOOR – AUTO DOOR/BICYCLE COLLISION – MULTIPLE RIB FRACTURES – PNUMOTHORAX – RIGHT ARM NERVE DAMAGE – 16% COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE FOUND.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff was a 60-year-old man who was riding his bicycle In a bicycle lane along Route A1A in Jupiter, Florida when the defendant opened a car door in front of him and the plaintiff‘s bicycle struck the door. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to look for oncoming bicycles while parked adjacent to the bike lane. The defendant contended that her view down the bicycle lane was obstructed by several pedestrians standing in the bicycle lane and that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent in causing the accident.

The plaintiff had recently retired and he and his wife moved from Houston, Texas to Florida and were renting an apartment in Palm Beach Gardens while their new retirement home was under construction. The plaintiff testified that he often rode his bicycle and had ridden the A1A bicycle lane approximately 75 times prior to the incident.

On January 12, ________, the plaintiff was riding his bicycle at the same time the defendant had parallel parked her car along A1A. The defendant opened her car door in front of the plaintiff and his bicycle collided with the door. The plaintiff was thrown some 20 feet as a result of the impact, according to testimony offered. Evidence showed that the plaintiff was wearing a bicycle helmet at the time and was riding during the mid-morning hours when there was typically less traffic.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with five rib fractures, a right humerus fracture, nerve damage to the upper right extremity, a pneumothorax, (collapsed lung) and permanent nerve damage to his dominant right arm as a result of the collision. The plaintiff complained of continuing pain and loss of function in his right arm and hand. The plaintiff’s doctor opined that the plaintiff will require shoulder surgery in the future as a result of the humerus fracture.

The defendant testified that she looked in her rearview mirror for oncoming bicyclists and then turned and looked over her shoulder. The defendant contended that the plaintiff’s oncoming bicycle was blocked by a group of pedestrians standing in the bicycle lane. The defendant’s orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff had made a good recovery from his accident-related injuries and will require only minimal future medical care.The jury found the defendant 84% negligent and the plaintiff 16% comparatively negligent. The plaintiff and his wife were awarded $________ in total damages, reduced accordingly. The award included $________ in damages for the loss of consortium claim made by the plaintiff’s wife. Post-trial motions are currently pending.

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