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Steven DeBosierJames PeltierPrzemek Lubecki

Steven DeBosier · James Peltier · Przemek Lubecki

$51,000,000.00 Verdict Drunk Driver With Deceased Passenger

TLU Icon January 16, 2024 6:30 PM||TLU n Demand

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In November of 2022, DeBosier's team obtained a verdict of $51,000,000.00 in the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish, State of Louisiana. The verdict consisted of $24,000,000.00 in general damages for the wrongful death of their daughter; 2,000,000.00 for the survival action of the passenger, Kristi Lirette; $25,000,000.00 in punitive damages against defendant drunk driver. The crash was a result of the defendant driver drinking at a restaurant bar for multiple hours and taking his bartender/waitress for a ride in his Lamborghini. Defendant driver traveled through uptown New Orleans at a speed of over 118 MPH, losing control and crashing into a retaining wall. The defendant driver was ejected and the plaintiff passenger was killed shortly after impact.

This case deals with the following issues:

  1. A drunk driver with a blood alcohol level of .11;
  2. A plaintiff passenger who also had a blood alcohol level of about the same;
  3. The plaintiff deceased, Kristi Lirette, also did a shot of Vodka with the defendant driver prior to getting in the vehicle;
  4. Louisiana does not have dram shop laws to allow suits against the bar/restaurant;
  5. There was very little evidence to show the fear or fright of the plaintiff before the defendant driver hit the retaining wall;
  6. The biggest part of the case is the lack of remorse of the defendant driver. We can talk about the body cam footage of him after the crash;
  7. After the crash, the defendant driver replaced the $250,000.00 Lamborghini with a $350,000.00 Ferrari;
  8. In the four (4) months leading up to the crash, he gambled and lost $750,000.00;
  9. The biggest teaching points will be allowing the jury to be upset with the defendant driver without the lawyers being upset with the driver;
  10. It took years of fighting the case to trial, with the defendant driver fighting every step of the way;
  11. The defendant driver pled guilty to vehicle homicide which included driving while intoxicated and killing the plaintiff, but denying intoxication in the civil trial;
  12. The speed of the trial – the case was tried from jury selection to verdict in four (4) days;
  13. Plaintiffs’ counsel is a TV advertising lawyer and had to overcome any bias by the jury toward TV advertising.

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