A jury that heard a civil case about a 2014 crash off Timberlake Road has ordered the defendant to pay $1 million in damages to the victim.
Andrew Perkins filed suit against David Brown in December 2015, about a year after the two were involved in a head-on crash at the intersection of Enterprise Drive one evening.
In prior testimony and depositions in the case, Perkins said he was waiting to take a left turn onto Enterprise Drive from Timberlake Road at a green light, but not a green arrow light. Once the intersection was clear, he went to turn and struck Brown, traveling the opposite direction on Timberlake Road in a black SUV that didn’t have its lights on.
Both men got out of their cars, and Perkins had said Brown was acting aggressively toward him and blaming the crash on him, all while Brown “reeked of alcohol,” according to court documents.
Brown said he was traveling at the speed limit there, which is 45 mph, those documents state. He refused medical transportation from the scene but later was taken to the hospital, where his blood alcohol level was tested at about 11 p.m., hours after the 7 p.m. crash, and was found to be close to 0.2, well over the legal limit of 0.08.
He said in testimony that at the time he was heading home from a restaurant where he’d eaten and drank most of one Long Island iced tea. He said he hadn’t had any drinks after that, nor any after the crash or before his blood alcohol test.
In court proceedings, Perkins introduced evidence of Brown’s criminal record, including a DUI from the year before and a public intoxication conviction from a couple of months prior to the crash.
Brown was found guilty of driving on a suspended license and driving outside of his restrictions from the crash, which were the result of his prior DUI conviction, according to court records, but he wasn’t charged with any DUI-related charges from the December crash. Most recently, he was found guilty in May 2019 of committing his third DUI within five years and was sentenced to six months in jail.
In a news release, Perkins’ attorney said his client suffered permanent injuries. Court documents detail his medical bills from the crash at more than $22,000.
The jury returned its verdict on Friday after a two-day trial, awarding Perkins $500,000 in compensation and another $500,000 in punitive damages, according to court documents.
James Feinman, Perkins’ attorney, said he wanted the jury to set an example of severe punishment for someone who drives drunk.
Brown’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.