Civil trial of former 'Hills' star ends

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A jury has awarded $15,000 in punitive damages to a tow truck driver who was slugged by former "Laguna Beach" personality Jason Wahler.

In all, Dario Stevenson won a $20,000 judgment against Wahler after a weeklong trial.

Jurors awarded Stevenson $5,000 on Thursday after finding that Wahler committed battery and inflicted emotional distress on the 41-year-old driver after punching him and hurling racial slurs at him in 2006.

The award was drastically lower than the $1 million that Stevenson's attorney wanted. He said the award amounted to jurors condoning Wahler's conduct.

Wahler said he considered the judgment a victory and said he had changed since the altercation with Stevenson and other high-profile incidents that resulted in his arrest in Los Angeles and Seattle.

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