Justices with the 13th Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Euton Harley-Davidson Inc. of Victoria, Texas was not negligent when an employee crashed while test driving one of its motorcycles. Robert Zissa Jr. ran a stop sign on July 5, 2006, while test driving a motorcycle for the dealership. He collided with a 2002 GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle, lost part of his right leg and incurred $600,000 in medical costs, according to court documents.
Cindy Sheppard, who represented the Harley-Davidson dealership successfully argued 1- that Zissa’s 16-year motorcycle riding career proved he was neither inexperienced nor ignorant about the dangers that come with his line of work. 2- that by Zissa’s own admission, he test-drove motorcycles seven to 10 times a week for three years without incident. Therefore, the dealership’s duty to give test drive instructions did not apply to Zissa 3- that laws of Texas doesn’t require an employer to provide a test driving track to test motorcycles. 4- that the dealership indicates employees two routes to test drive the motorcycles that they felt were the most safe but that for unknown reason Zissa chose to take a different route that day. Robert Zissa’s attorney doesn’t not know whether his client would file a motion for rehearing by the Dec. 28 deadline.