George Ison (plaintiff) was injured in July 2003 in a car accident involving Anthony Thomas (defendant). In August 2003, Ison sued Thomas for the property damages caused to Ison’s vehicle. At trial, the jury awarded Ison approximately $5,000 for the property damage. Ison then sued Thomas in April 2005 for damages arising from personal injuries sustained in the crash. The trial court dismissed the second lawsuit, ruling that the personal injury claim was part of the same cause of action as the previous property damage claim and was merged with the prior judgment. Ison appealed to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky.