Barron Hilton, Paris' Little Brother, Must Pay $4.9M in DUI Crash
Remember Barron Hilton's DUI crash? Well, Barron Hilton's lawsuit has come to an end and Paris Hilton's little brother has been ordered to pay $4.9 million to the gas station employee he crashed into in Malibu, California.
In 2008, Hilton was driving his Mercedes-Benz down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway - in the wrong direction, reports the Los Angeles Times.
He then pulled into a gas station where he hit an employee, Fernando Tellez, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Hilton was only 18 at the time. During the civil trial, he claimed he had amnesia and did not remember who was driving the Mercedes at the time. Hilton also said that all he remembered was sitting on the bench at the gas station after the accident, and denied ever driving the car despite contradictory witness testimony, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Hilton pled "no contest" in the earlier DUI charge, reports the Los Angeles Times. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.14%. DUIs are usually handled in state criminal court and are not considered a civil matter.
As for the civil case? Tellez's $4.9 million award will include $225,000 in punitive damages and about $71,000 in interest, reports the Los Angeles Times. The damages award also includes pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of earnings.
Punitive damages are usually awarded if a jury finds the defendant's conduct is offensive or particularly egregious. Punitive damages go above and beyond compensating the defendant for their injuries. In a way, they are designed to "punish" the defendant.
Tellez's attorney says that he now has a permanent disability and had to go through various surgeries since the accident, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Barron Hilton's DUI crash will definitely be costing him. Though, it's not like the verdict from Barron Hilton's lawsuit will end up bankrupting him - he has his family fortune to fall back on.
- Barron Hilton Ordered to Pay $4.9 MIL In DUI Crash (TMZ)
- DUI Law: Overview (FindLaw)
- Barron Hilton Is Back On The Road After 2008 DUI Conviction (FindLaw's Los Angeles DUI Blog)
- Paris Hilton Burglar Sentenced to 2 Yrs (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)