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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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Jury awards $89 million against drunken driver in fatality collision

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According to stlttoday.com a Missouri jury has awarded $89 million in damages to the family of a man killed in a 2008 crash with a drunken driver, and to the man’s fiancée and daughter.

According to the article, the lawyer for the family stated

he doubts his clients will ever see a fraction of the money. But he said the jury’s disgust with drunken driving was unmistakable.

The story further details the egregious facts of the case. It states

that Troy Zerna, 20, at the time at the crash, was already driving on a hardship license after a previous DWI when he caused a head-on collision Feb. 2, 2008, on Highway 100 near Gray Summit.

Zerna’s blood-alcohol level was 0.20 percent, 2 1/2 times the legal limit to drive, according to Missouri Highway Patrol testimony at the trial.

This is a prime example of a jury sending a clear and unequivocal message to all those who dare drink and drive. The general public is fed up with losing fathers, mothers, sons and daughters to people who purposefully risk the lives of others by drinking and driving. While this verdict took place in Missouri residents of Oklahoma should take note. The size of the award (which very little will likely be recovered) is a lesson about accountability, not collectability.