Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was awarded over $580,000 in damages by a Kentucky court on Wednesday over a lawn maintenance dispute with his neighbor Rene Boucher Boucher, an anesthesiologist, lashed out violently attacking the senator in his own yard.

An apologetic Boucher admitted that he acted irrationally. But his remorse did not stop the jury from fining him $375,000 in punitive damages, $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus $7,834 for the medical expenses for the senator.

According to Boucher, the day before the attack Paul had left a pile of debris on the border between their properties. Boucher doused the pile in gasoline and lit it on fire to get rid of the debris. Unfortunately, the fire resulted in an explosion burning and injuring Boucher. Boucher testified Paul had done this in the past and that he had asked to discuss lawn maintenance with the senator but was ignored. The next day when he saw another pile of debris near the boundary, he could not control himself.

Paul recounted his version of the story in detail. Paul says he was riding his stand-up lawnmower and listening to music when he got off to pick up a stick. Because he was wearing noise cancelling headphones, Paul did not hear Boucher approach. The senator says a force hit him so far he flew back over five feet in the air and “the thought crossed my mind that I may never get up from this lawn again.” the senator testified.


Paul’s riveting testimony was just the thing to push jurors over the edge. However, lawyers say multiple issues are most likely to be appealed. When Boucher’s attorney was asked if Boucher had the funds to pay the damages, the lawyer replied, “We’re going to talk about that.”

Paul assured people that this incident had nothing to do with politics. After the verdict, Paul explained that people could hold different views whether it’s on politics, religion or “day-to-day matters. It’s never OK to turn those disagreements into violent, aggressive behavior. I hope that’s the message from today,” Paul stated.

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