War Veteran: $26 Million Awarded for Hit-and-Run

March 29, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

War veteran $26 million: A Florida jury found that an Iraq war veteran who received brain damage in a hit-in-run should get $26 million as compensation.


An Iraq war veteran was awarded $26 million in court on Thursday after he suffered brain damage in a vehicle accident in Florida five years ago.

Dustin Brink hit his head on the pavement in Kissimmee, Fla., when a car slammed into his motorcycle in 2008, reported Reuters. 

“He’s got a huge hole in his right frontal and temporal lobes,” said his lawyer Alexander Clem.

Brink was not wearing a helmet during the time of the accident and lost all brain functions to organize and sequence activities. He also cannot filter his thoughts, Clem added.

“It is a tragic situation,” Clem told the Orlando Sentinel.

The lawsuit claimed that Juan Ruiz Pereles of Osceola County operated his father’s vehicle with negligence when he crashed into Brink’s motorcycle.  

Pereles’ attorney Michael LeRoy told the paper that Brink was 50 percent at fault, meaning that the net sum in the verdict would be reduced by half.

“Although we certainly respect the jury’s verdict, we feel that the award of $22 million for past and future medical expenses, which comprises the majority of the verdict, is not supported by the evidence,” LeRoy told the paper.

He added: “As such, we will promptly be seeking a post-verdict reduction from the court, which is not uncommon in these matters.”

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