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Florida Jury Awards $14 Million to Drunk Driving Crash Victims

A Florida jury came out with a fourteen million dollar verdict last week for the family of two boys killed in a drunk driving car crash. The drunk driver, George Butler, 36, was estimated to be traveling at eighty miles per hour when he collided with the truck of the Juan Martinez family. Three sons were in the truck at the time of the crash. Eleven-year-old Juan Alexis was injured. One-year-old Jordy and six-year-old Jesus were killed in the wreck that took place last January.

Father and mother Juan Luis Martinez and Maria Bustamante Martinez were stone-faced at the reading of the multimillion dollar verdict. Florida auto accident lawyers following the news of the case noted that twelve million dollars of the verdict was for the family’s pain and suffering.

Two million of the verdict was for past and future medical bills, and for funeral expenses for the two boys. Punitive damages were set at twenty-five thousand dollars.

The only defendant in the civil trial was George Butler. No insurance companies took part as defendants. The family may try to recover money from an insurance company if Butler has or had insurance.

The six-member jury did not have any statements to make after the trial, which lasted nine days.

Butler is currently serving fifteen years in prison for the crash. He drank at a bar on the day of the crash, got drunk and drove home. The Martinez family was on its way to a birthday party.

Source: Fort Myers News-Press “Family awarded $14 million in Fort Myers Beach DUI deaths” 12/3/2010

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