A jury in Missouri has awarded $89 million in damages to the family of a man killed in a 2008 crash with a drunken driver, and to the man’s fiancée and daughter. The jury clearly sent a message on drinking and driving. Based on reports the jury was very unhappy with drunken driving.
Troy Zerna, who was 20 years old at the time of the crash, was already driving on a hardship license after a previous DWI. Zerna’s blood-alcohol level was 0.20% – well over twice the legal limit to drive. Dennis Riegel Jr., 28, was killed in the crash and his fiancée, Christine Hodge, was seriously hurt. The couple was returning from a shopping mall where they had registered for gifts for their upcoming wedding.
Five months before the crash, Zerna had been arrested and his license suspended for his involvement in another DWI-related wreck. Zerna has been sentenced to a total of ten years in prison on DWI-related convictions involving both crashes. Mark Bronson, a lawyer from St. Louis, represented the Plaintiffs and did a very good job.
Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch
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