Canadian couple gets USD9 million jury verdict in bike wreck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded more than USD9 million in damages to a man and woman from Vancouver, British Columbia, who were struck by an 18-wheeler truck while riding their bikes along Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

The eight-member jury found Exel Inc — more commonly known as the shipping company DHL — liable for the August 3, 2016, collision late Friday after a five-day trial in US District Court in Portland.

It awarded USD1.3 million in economic damages, USD4 million in non-economic damages and USD4 million in punitive damages to Eric Moutal, whose lower left leg was nearly amputated, and USD400,000 in non-economic damages to his now wife, Andrea Newman, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.Moutal, who was 31 at the time, and Newman, then 25, were vacationing in Oregon, camping and biking in the Columbia River Gorge before a planned visit to Portland.

The two had been biking along the Historic Columbia River Highway but rode a stretch along the interstate in order to return to their campground.