Few people understand the effects of alcohol on the human mind and body more than a doctor. That is part of what makes the case of a North Carolina doctor so sad. The 72-year-old physician was allegedly drunk when he was in Louisiana and slammed his SUV into the back of another vehicle on Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
A jury there awarded more than $1.3 million to a woman and her two children who were injured in the drunk driving crash. At the end of a trial in St. Tammany Parish, the plaintiffs were awarded $1.2 million in punitive damages and another $112,000 in actual damages, a New Orleans newspaper report stated.
The bridge on which the crash occurred is the world's longest that spans a body of water.
The doctor pleaded guilty in 2015 to three counts of vehicular negligence in the matter, but was not sentenced to any time in jail.
The jury awarded $400,000 in punitive damages to each of the plaintiffs. The woman is to receive $69,647 for pain and suffering, as well for as medical expenses, anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. Her children, who were teenagers at the time of the 2012 wreck, were awarded more than $21,000 each.
According to police, the doctor's blood alcohol content was 0.21 percent after the crash. That is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Despite the extremely high test result, he was not charged with drunken driving.
A prosecutor apparently told the victim that the doctor's blood alcohol content test "slipped through the cracks."
A grand jury later charged the doctor with vehicular negligent injury, to which he pleaded guilty in January of 2015. He was sentenced to home incarceration, fined $6,000 and ordered to donate $10,000 to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.
Sometimes a person who has been injured by a drunk driver has to fight for justice. An experienced Charlotte personal injury lawyer can help you battle for the compensation you deserve.