By MIKE MORRIS
Veteran actor Robert Conrad, already facing felony drunken driving charges for a March accident near Arnold, now also faces a lawsuit by the 26-year-old Arnold man he crashed into.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in the Calaveras County Superior Court, seeks compensation for personal injuries and punitive damages from Conrad, who's production company, Black Sheep Productions, is also named in the suit.
Michael Milward, an Arnold attorney representing the plaintiff Kevin Burnett, said a dollar amount has not yet been attached to the suit. He said Burnett chose this time to sue because he's "moving along in the recovery stage."
According to California Highway Patrol reports, Conrad with residences in Murphys and Bear Valley was driving west on Highway 4 near Arnold on March 31, when his Jaguar crossed the center line and struck an oncoming Subaru, injuring Burnett, of Forest Meadows.
Immediately after the head-on collision, Burnett was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hospital in Modesto.
Two metal rods were inserted in his right leg. Burnett's fractured left wrist has healed, but additional surgery on his leg is anticipated, Milward said.
Milward said Burnett is doing well, although the accident has taken its toll on him both physically and emotionally.
"This has turned his life upside down. There's no doubt about that," Milward said. "One minute he's driving to see friends in Arnold, and the next he's being flown to Modesto."
Conrad, 68, was also flown to a Modesto hospital Doctors Medical Center. He failed to appear at two Calaveras County arraignments during the spring because of his injuries, which his wife says left him partially paralyzed.
Investigators had said Conrad's blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit when he hit Burnett's car. Calaveras County District Attorney Jeff Tuttle said Conrad's blood-alcohol level that night was .22 percent. The legal limit is .08.