Court Upholds $10 Million Punitive Damages in Drunken Driver Death

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has upheld $10 million in punitive damages for the family and estate of an Albuquerque man who was killed by a drunk driver in 2003.

The Court ruled that there was enough evidence to support the full amount of damages awarded against the parent company of an Albuquerque convenience store, known as Alameda Meteror.  The case involves a crash involving a store maintenance worker, who was driving his vehicle when he crashed into a man who was stopped on his motorcycle at an intersection. The motorcyclist later died from his injuries.

The Appeals Court said Meteror knew the employee drank on the job and that he had actually purchased alcohol from the store the day of the accident.  In its’ opinion, the Court said that the store’s actions “demonstrated a reckless disregard for the health and safety of others.”

There was no claim that the compensatory damages of $4.5 million were excessive. Therefore, those damages were not an issue in the ruling.  However, the full amount of punitive damages was upheld.

Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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