DRAM SHOP AWARD:
A former gas station attendant has won a multi-million dollar award in damages in a lawsuit arising from a drunk driver accident in 2008. Witnesses said Barron Hilton was driving his Mercedes-Benz the wrong way on the Pacific Coast Highway before the being involved in an accident with the gas station employee. A companion of the hotel heir said Hilton was involved in at least one accident as he drove his car near Malibu earlier in the day. Eventually, Hilton pulled into a gas station in Malibu.
It was in the lot that witnesses say Hilton struck the gas station attendant with his Mercedes-Benz. Police claimed Hilton was involved in a drunk driving accident. The hotel heir was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs after the crash. His blood alcohol content was measured at .14 after the crash and Hilton pled no contest to the DUI charge. The hotel heir was 18 at the time of the crash.
The gas station attendant who was struck in February 2008 filed a personal injury lawsuit against Hilton in relation to the California car accident. The man required extensive surgeries due to the injuries he sustained in the accident. The man says he is permanently disabled as a result of the personal injuries.
Hilton denies he was driving the car on the night of the accident. He says he has amnesia and only remembers sitting on a bench after the crash.
A judgment in the civil suit was entered earlier this month awarding damages to the gas station attendant. The award includes damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings. Additionally, the judgment includes punitive damages. California law allows victims of drunk driver accidents to seek punitive damages in a civil suit related to the accident.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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