U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was awarded more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses on Wednesday in his lawsuit against the neighbor who tackled him and broke several of his ribs in a dispute over lawn maintenance.
A jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, deliberated less than two hours before delivering the award to the Republican lawmaker who had been attacked while doing yard work at his Kentucky home.
Paul had testified during the three-day trial that he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Rene Boucher slammed into him in their upscale Bowling Green neighborhood in late 2017.
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."
Rand Paul on the campaign trail
Rand Paul on the campaign trail
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., attends the New Hampshire Republican Party #FITN Leadership Summit at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, N.H., January 23, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 17 - Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., inspects an AR-15 rifle as he fires it at Crossroads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, on Sunday, Jan 17, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and 2016 presidential candidate, stands on stage at the start of the Republican presidential candidate debate at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. With less than two months remaining before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses and the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary, middle-of-the-pack candidates hoping for a late surge in the polls have little choice but to come out swinging in tonight's fifth Republican debate. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Host Larry Wilmore speaks with Republican candidate Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Comedy Central's 'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Soul Food Sit Down on October 23, 2015 in New York City. The show airs tonight, November 2, 2015, at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Comedy Central)
GREENVILLE, SC - SEPTEMBER 18: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to voters at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum September 18, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina. Eleven republican candidates each had twenty five minutes to talk to voters Friday at the Bons Secours Wellness arena in the upstate of South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 20: John Dickerson interviews Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on the September 20, 2015 edition of 'Face the Nation.' (Photo by Chris Usher/CBS via Getty Images)
2016 Republican presidential candidates George Pataki, former governor of New York, Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, stand on stage during the Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. The main debate of the top 11 GOP contenders in the polls follows the 'kids' table' debate of candidates who didn't make the cut. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 7: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks with the media at the Pints for Liberty event at Rat River Brewery in Columbia, S.C., on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reacts to a question about Sen. Ted Cruz as he arrives for the rare Sunday session in the Senate on July 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and 2016 U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, questions John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, not pictured, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Senator Bob Corker, a key player in the congressional debate over the nuclear deal with Iran, told Secretary of State John Kerry that the Obama administration is engaging in hyperbole to sell it. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 29: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) waits to be introduced at a campaign stop at an Embassy Suites hotel on June 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul made stops in four cities in Nevada on Monday as he campaigns for the battleground state against 12 other Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, SC - JUNE 15: GOP presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) greets supporters at the VFW Hall on June 15, 2015 in Lexington, South Carolina. Paul took questions and spoke against government intrusion into the lives of citizens. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 09: Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) addresses the Baltimore county Republican Party's annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner at Martin's West June 9, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul launched his campaign April 7 in Louisville, where he told supporters, 'I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We have come to take our country back.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 01: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) does a live interview with ABC News in the Russell Senate Office Building rotunda on Capitol Hill June 1, 2015 in Washington, DC. In protest of the National Security Agency's sweeping program to collect U.S. citizens' telephone metadata, Paul blocked an extension of some parts of the USA PATRIOT Act, allowing them to lapse at 12:01 a.m. Monday. The Senate will continue to work to restore the lapsed authorities by amending a House version of the bill and getting it to President Obama later this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tours Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Monday, May, 18, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shakes hands with supporters before his speech outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Monday, May, 18, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
DES MOINES, IA - MAY 16: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to guests gathered for the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center on May 16, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The event sponsored by the Republican Party of Iowa gave several Republican presidential hopefuls an opportunity to strengthen their support among Iowa Republicans ahead of the 2016 Iowa caucus. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and U.S. presidential candidate, speaks during the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition presidential forum at Point of Grace Church in Waukee, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Declared and undeclared Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa for the event. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption *** Rand Paul
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and presidential candidate, listens during a campaign stop in Atkins, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Paul will attend the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption *** Rand Paul
VINTON, IA - APRIL 25: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) poses for pictures with guests during a campaign stop at the American Legion Hall on April 25, 2015 in Vinton, Iowa. Paul is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
NASHUA, NH - APRIL 18: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 18, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Summit brought together local and national Republicans and was attended by all the Republicans candidates as well as those eyeing a run for the nomination. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 11: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a rally at the Desert Vista Community Center on April 11, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7, and is the second Republican candidate to jump into the race. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
MT PLEASANT, SC - APRIL 09: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and GOP presidential hopeful speaks at a campaign rally in front of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown on April 9, 2015 in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. Paul outlined a foreign policy vision built both on a strong military and a commitment to use it sparingly. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
MILFORD, NH - APRIL 8: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during a rally at Town Hall April 8, 2015 in Milford, New Hampshire. Paul declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on April 7, and is the second Republican candidate to jump into the race. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, speaks during a rally to formally announce his presidential campaign at the Galt House hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Paul, 52, becomes the second Republican, and second freshman senator to join the 2016 presidential race. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
The trial included testimony from doctors as well as other neighbors, but the most riveting testimony came from Paul and Boucher. Paul, a former GOP presidential candidate, told the jury Monday that immediately after the attack, "the thought crossed my mind that I may never get up from this lawn again."
An apologetic Boucher acknowledged he wasn't thinking rationally and called it "two minutes of my life I wish I could take back." Paul showed no outward emotion, sitting between his lawyer and his wife in the courtroom, as Boucher recounted the attack.
In his lawsuit, Paul sought up to $500,000 in compensatory damages and up to $1 million in punitive damages. Baker had conceded a "reasonable award" might be in order for Paul's pain and suffering but said no punitive damages should be awarded. Baker said that Paul had resumed his "customary lifestyle" that includes golf and a skiing vacation.
Boucher has already served a 30-day prison sentence after pleading guilty to assaulting a member of Congress. Federal prosecutors have appealed, saying 21 months would have been appropriate. Boucher also was fined $10,000 and served 100 hours of community service in the criminal case.
Both Paul and Boucher recounted with great detail their accounts of the attack.
Paul testified that he got off his riding mower to pick up a stick and was straightening up when Boucher hit him with such force that both flew through the air 5 or 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters).
For a moment, Paul said, he had a flashback to the 2017 shooting at a baseball field when members of Congress were practicing for a game. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana suffered serious injuries in the shooting.
The attack in Paul's yard was motivated by lawn care, not politics.
Boucher told the jury that he attacked Paul after watching the senator start forming a brush pile near their property line.
The day before the attack, Boucher said he had burned another brush pile that Paul had created near the boundary. He doused that pile with gasoline and set it on fire, Boucher said. An explosion burned his face, neck and arms, and Boucher said he was still in severe pain when he attacked Paul the next day. Boucher testified he had hauled away previous brush piles accumulated by Paul without asking the senator.