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Jeremy Mayfield ordered to pay $1 million for dogs’ attack

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Jeremy Mayfield in his racing days. (Getty Images)

The problems keep piling up for former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jeremy Mayfield. A Forsyth County (N.C.) Superior Court judge has ordered Mayfield to pay $1 million to a postal carrier who was attacked in 2011 by Mayfield's five dogs.

The carrier, Mary E. Bolton, charged Mayfield with negligence in permitting their dogs, pit bull/Labrador mixes, to roam freely on his property. According to court accounts, Bolton was delivering the mail on April 21, 2011, and had a package too large to fit into the mailbox. She drove onto the property (which had "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dog" signs visible) but was attacked by the dogs.

Mayfield, who was home at the time, chased off the dogs, carried Bolton into his house, and called 911. Bolton was transported to a nearby hospital, and after several  months off work, now suffers from nerve damage and post-traumatic stress disorder. Animal control authorities confiscated and later euthanized the dogs.

[Jay Busbee: Danica Patrick deserved punishment for wrecking Sam Hornish Jr.]

Bolton indicated that she lost an estimated $14,000 in income because of the injuries. Mayfield has said he offered to pay for her medical costs, but did not show up in court or file an answer to Bolton's charges. While Mayfield expressed regret over the incident, he also noted the reality of the situation, that his house is nearly a mile from the street and that he moved to the country expressly to allow his dogs to run free on his own property.

"I'm far enough off the road to not get messed with," he said. "My dogs never left that property, yet I've got a $1 million judgment against me."

In this instance, Mayfield was not charged with a crime. But it is one more in a series of tragic and traumatic events piling up against Mayfield. His home was auctioned off because he owed roughly $3 million on the property. Mayfield also still faces charges of drug possession, larceny and possession of stolen goods. He has also been involved in lawsuits with his stepmother, whom he accused of (but later recanted) being involved in the death of his father.

He has not raced in NASCAR since 2009, when he was suspended for testing positive for methamphetamines. At the time, he protested his innocence, but Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon expressed concern about sharing a track with him.

Mayfield did not file a response to Bolton's charges because he says he cannot afford attorneys on this matter as well as his criminal ones.

"If I had $1 million to give away," he said, "I wouldn't be in this situation."

-For more, follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee and on Facebook.

Postal worker wins $1 million from former NASCAR driver [Winston-Salem Journal]

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