Barron Hilton ordered to pay $4.9 million in drunk-driving case, attorney says
The July 7 judgment in the civil lawsuit against Hilton includes $4.6 million for pain and suffering, medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Hilton also must pay $225,000 in punitive damages and nearly $71,000 in interest.
The case grew out of a 2008 incident in which witnesses said Hilton was involved in at least one collision, drove the wrong way for miles down Pacific Coast Highway and finally pulled into a gas station in Malibu, where the hotel heir struck employee Fernando Tellez.
Attorney Joseph M. Kar, who represented Tellez, said Hilton denied he had driven the car and claimed amnesia, remembering only that he was on a bench at the station after the incident. He also denied driving the car at any time despite witnesses who placed him in the vehicle.
Hilton, who was 18 at the time, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His blood-alcohol level registered .14% and he later pleaded no contest to the charge, authorities said.
Earlier that morning, authorities claim Hilton's companion, Ashley Elizabeth Meyers, had been driving the Mercedes-Benz and hit another vehicle.
"This wild night of reckless partying resulted in Mr. Tellez's permanent disability, required him to undergo multiple surgeries and medical procedures and destroyed his family and his ability to provide for his family," Kar said.
Kar said he was particularly troubled by the "unfair tactic" in which Hilton and his attorneys "refused to admit guilt for something he had already admitted to by pleading no contest in the earlier criminal DUI case."
-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter/anblanx)
Photo: Barron Hilton at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Credit: Martin Bureau / AFP / Getty Images.