Jury awards $25 million to estate of Cowboys DL Jerry Brown, killed in accident with teammate

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A jury has decided former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent and a now-closed nightclub are equally responsible for the death of Jerry Brown six years ago. Brown’s estate was awarded $25 million in the case.

Brent killed his best friend

Six years ago, on Dec. 8, 2012, Brown was killed when the Mercedes-Benz his best friend and teammate, Brent, was driving flipped over. Brent was driving at least 110 miles per hour in a 45 MPH zone when the accident occurred, and his blood-alcohol level was .18 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08.

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Josh Brent, shown here at his 2014 criminal trial, was back in a Dallas County, Texas, court this week for a civil trial in the death of his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. A jury Brent and the nightclub Beamers are equally responsible in Brown’s death and must pay a $25 million settlement to Brown’s estate. (AP)
Josh Brent, shown here at his 2014 criminal trial, was back in a Dallas County, Texas, court this week for a civil trial in the death of his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. A jury Brent and the nightclub Beamers are equally responsible in Brown’s death and must pay a $25 million settlement to Brown’s estate. (AP)

The two had just left Beamers nightclub.

After almost five hours of deliberation, the jury decided that Brent and Beamers were each 48 percent responsible for Brown’s death; Brown was decided to have been 4 percent responsible for his own death because he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and because he got into the car with Brent.

Because of the decision, Brent and Beamers are each responsible for $12.5 million in the decision, or half of the $25 million.

Mother, estate will receive money

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, brought the suit against Brent and Beamers. She will receive the money on behalf of her son’s estate, and said that some of the payout will go to a non-profit she has started in Brown’s name.

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“I’m sure Jerry’s looking down and happy,” Jackson said after the verdict.

Jackson and Brown’s estate had asked for an award of as much as $95 million, primarily from Beamers’ owners and management group.

Attorneys for the club argued in court that Brent was not drunk when he left Beamers, but the crash occurred six minutes after the two left the club. A toxicologist testified at the earlier criminal trial that Brent, who is 6-foot-2 and played at around 320 pounds, would have had to consume 17 drinks to get to a BAC of 0.18.

Brent found guilty in criminal trial

Brent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter during the 2014 criminal trial and received a 10-year suspended sentence after Jackson testified that she had forgiven him. This week’s civil verdict brings an end to the legal proceedings in the case.

Brent, a 2010 supplemental draft pick who played 40 games with five starts over four seasons, is a member of the Cowboys’ scouting staff.

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