After having a dispute with a neighbor where he was tackled and several of his ribs were broken, Senator Rand Paul was awarded $580,000 in damages. The dispute was over lawn maintenance.
A Bowling Green, Kentucky jury deliberated for under two hours for delivering the award to Paul as a result of him being attacked at his Kentucky home while doing yard work.
Paul had testified that he was struggling to breathe and feared for his life when Rene Boucher, an anesthesiologist, slammed into him in late 2017.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 31, 2019
The jury awarded $375,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus $7,834 for medical expenses.
Afterward, Paul said in a statement that he hoped the verdict would send a "clear message that violence is not the answer — anytime, anywhere."
Boucher's attorney, Matt Baker, said they would appeal.
"We all expected that Sen. Paul would get a verdict in his favor," Baker said. "This far exceeds anything that we were expecting."
The trial included testimony from doctors as well as other who live in the neighborhood, but the most riveting testimony came from the longtime neighbors — Paul and Boucher. Paul, a former GOP presidential hopeful, told the jury Monday that immediately after the attack, "the thought crossed my mind that I may never get up from this lawn again."
Boucher was apologetic and acknowledged it as "two minutes of my life I wish I could take back."
Paul testified that he was picking up a stick in his yard when he was blindsided by Boucher from behind and they both flew 5 to 10 feet through the air. He didn't hear Boucher coming because he was wearing noise-canceling headphones.
It was made clear that the root of the dispute was lawn care, not politics. After Boucher saw the senator form a brush pile near the property line, he went in for the attack.
After the verdict Paul said:
"It's never OK to turn those disagreements into violent, aggressive behavior. I hope that's the message from today."
This lawsuit wasn’t about me. It was about all of us and what we find acceptable as a society. We need to send a clear message that violence is not the answer - anytime, anywhere.
We can hold different views, whether it’s politics, religion or day to day matters.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 30, 2019