DALLAS - A jury awarded the family of a former Dallas Cowboys player killed in a drunk driving wreck $25 million on Thursday.
The Dallas County jury said the nightclub, Beamers, and the car's driver, former Cowboys player Josh Brent, were both liable and equally to blame in the death of Jerry Brown. Brown's mother filed the lawsuit.
The crash that killed Brown in Dec. 2012 happened just four minutes after they left the club.
Brent was previously convicted of intoxication manslaughter and is currently serving 10 years' probation. Brent did not participate in the trial even though he was named as a defendant. He did testify that he accepted full responsibility for his actions.
Stacey Jackson, Brown's mom, said the multimillion dollar award does not wipe away the pain or the loss of her son.
"That means that we can live the life that we need to and also I have a nonprofit organization for Jerry and we can go forward and give scholarships and help children with school supplies and prepare for the future," Jackson said.
Charla Aldous, the Brown family attorney, said the verdict sends a message to bars.
"If you're going to undertake this type of business, do it safely. And they need to protect the public and they need to make sure their patrons are not being served drinks when they're intoxicated. And our hope and prayer is that through this verdict, it may save a life in the future," Aldous said.
Defense attorneys for Beamers left immediately following the verdict and did not comment. During trial the defense maintained that Brent did not appear intoxicated that evening and said he alone should be responsible.
Brent was not in court when the verdict was read.