A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge awarded a $200 million judgment to the parents of Noah Benardout, a 24-year-old musician who was struck and killed by a vehicle following a collision caused by a drunk driver near Los Angeles, not for from the West Hollywood limits. The judgment, includes $100 million in past and future wrongful death damages for Noah’s father, Marc, and $100 million in past and future wrongful death damages for Noah’s mother, Marie.
Business wire reports that on August 1, 2019, Defendant Jacob D. Gralitzer was attending a ViacomCBS employee premiere party for the now-cancelled Comedy Central late night talk show Lights Out With David Spade. As alleged in the complaint, Defendant Gralitzer became intoxicated at the party and then proceeded to get behind the wheel of an Infiniti Q60S and drove through the streets of West Hollywood at recklessly high speeds. As Gralitzer traveled eastbound on Melrose Avenue, he violently collided with the driver of an Acura MDX traveling westbound on Melrose and making a left turn onto Martel Avenue. The intense impact of the collision caused the Acura MDX to careen onto the southwest corner of the intersection of Melrose and Martel, striking pedestrian Noah Benardout while he was standing on the sidewalk. Noah sustained major blunt force trauma to his head and died as a result of his injuries.
Several news outlets are reporting that the crash happened in West Hollywood. However, the intersection of Martel Avenue and Melrose Avenue is located in the City of Los Angeles, not far from the West Hollywood city boundary.
“In an instant, one drunk man behind the wheel robbed the Benardout family of their son, their brother, and their best friend — there is no amount of money that will make them feel whole again,” said lead trial attorney, Spencer Lucas.
Following the collision, Defendant Gralitzer was criminally charged and pled no contest to felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. On February 1, 2022, he was sentenced to four (4) years in state prison – yet he served just six (6) weeks in Los Angeles County jail followed by seven (7) weeks in North Kern County Prison. On May 3, 2022, Gralitzer was transferred to a Male Community Reentry Program location where he will serve less than one-third of his sentence before being released later this month, due to his classification by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as a nonviolent offender.
At just 24 years old, the musician was on the verge of success while working as the artist LOVR®. His brand new EP, Loners was finished the day he died.
The Noah Benardout Foundation, a registered Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Corporation for the prevention of DUI tragedies was created in his memory. the goal of the foundation is to advocate immediate education and habit-forming skills to end the tragedies of Driving Under the Influence which are 100% preventable. Direct engagement with robust awareness HAS to change the narrative. The foundation has partnered with The California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the California Office of Traffic and Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration among others, for rapid traction through the media ecosystem.
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And where was the premiere party? Who was serving the defendant?