Verdicts & Settlements
Posted January 31, 2019, 10:54 am CST
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky was awarded more than $580,000 in damages Wednesday in a civil suit against a neighbor who tackled him from behind and broke six of his ribs, leading to two bouts of pneumonia and a hernia caused by the coughing.
The verdict against the neighbor, retired anesthesiologist Rene Boucher, included $375,000 in punitive damages, report the Bowling Green Daily News, the Associated Press, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Boucher testified that he tackled Paul as he piled brush near the property line between their Kentucky homes in November 2017. Boucher thought Paul frequently put brush piles in that location because Paul was angry that Boucher had trimmed Paul’s trees when they grew onto Boucher’s property, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
Boucher said he had removed the brush piles, but on the night before the attack he burned himself while using gasoline to burn one of the piles. He was in severe pain when he tackled Paul, Boucher said.
Boucher was convicted on a charge of assaulting a member of Congress for the attack. He served a 30-day jail sentence and paid a $10,000 fine.
Boucher’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict.
Paul said after the verdict that the lawsuit was intended to address “what kind of society we want to live in” and how to best resolve conflicts, according to the Bowling Green Daily News.
“We’ve got to get the message out there that violence isn’t the way to resolve our differences,” he said. “I think we really can resolve our differences in a peaceful manner, and I think that’s what the jury said here.”
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