Barron Hilton, the younger brother of the infamous Paris Hilton, has been ordered to pay $4.9 million to a gas station attendant he struck with his Mercedes-Benz. The judgment in the civil lawsuit against Hilton includes $4.6 million for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings. Barron Hilton also must pay $225,000 in punitive damages and nearly $71,000 in interest.
The case arose out of a 2008 incident in which witnesses testified that young Hilton was involved in at least one collision, drove the wrong way for miles down the Pacific Coast Highway and finally pulled into a gas station in Malibu, where the hotel heir struck the employee, Fernando Tellez. Hilton denied he had driven the car and claimed amnesia. Witnesses clearly placed him in the vehicle and identified him as the driver.
Hilton, who was 18 at the time, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His blood-alcohol level registered .14% and he later pleaded no contest to the charge, authorities said. Earlier that morning, according to authorities, Hilton’s companion, Ashley Elizabeth Meyers, had been driving the Mercedes-Benz and hit another vehicle. Joseph M. Kar, a lawyer in Sherman Oaks, California, who represented Mr. Tellez, had this to say about the incident:
This wild night of reckless partying resulted in Mr. Tellez’s permanent disability, required him to undergo multiple surgeries and medical procedures and destroyed his family and his ability to provide for his family.
Kar, who did a very good job for his client, said he was particularly troubled by the “unfair tactic” in which Hilton and his attorneys “refused to admit guilt for something he had already admitted to by pleading no contest in the earlier criminal DUI case.”
Source: Los Angeles Times
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