A jury in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, awarded a 51-year-old woman more than $3.1 million for her injuries and suffering after being struck by a drunken driver in December 2005. Debra Mayer was badly injured in the crash. She had a punctured lung, fractured rib, two broken teeth, broken left arm, broken left leg and broken left foot after a head-on crash with David M. Bowe in 2005. Ironically, Bowe, was uninjured in the crash. But he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for causing the crash. It was his second drunken driving offense.
The jury awarded Ms. Mayer $750,000 for future medical expenses; $250,000 for past and future loss of earnings; $1.75 million for past and future pain, suffering, disability and disfigurement; $375,000 in punitive damages; and $17,588 for out-of-pocket expenses for a total of $3.14 million.
Obviously, this jury wanted to send a message to the community that drinking and driving will not be tolerated, and it has significant consequences. Bowe crashed his car nearly head-on into Mayer’s vehicle. Bowe admitted he had left a bar in Chippewa Falls and lost control of his car, causing it to collide with Mayer’s vehicle. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.16, which is twice the legal limit. A videotape showed that Mr. Bowe could hardly stand up.
In the criminal case, Bowe pleaded no contest to injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle, operating while under the influence, causing injury while operating a vehicle under the influence, reckless driving, negligent operation and disorderly conduct. Scott McCarty, a lawyer from Madison, represented the Plaintiff and did a very good job.
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