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Crittenden County jury awards bomb victim, wife $122.5 million in civil lawsuit

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — A Crittenden County jury has ordered an ex-Russellville doctor to pay $122.5 million in a civil lawsuit for severely injuring the Arkansas medical board's chairman in a 2009 bombing.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1BXlwrO ) reports that Randeep Mann was convicted in 2010 for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges following the bombing of Dr. Trent Pierce outside his home. Mann's wife, Sangeeta, was sentenced to a year in prison for obstructing a federal investigation into the explosion.

The jury has awarded Pierce and his wife the money for compensatory and punitive damages.

Pierce led the medical board when it investigated allegations that Mann was suspected of overprescribing pain medications, leading to some patient deaths.

The physician was injured in an explosion when he moved a spare tire that was placed in front of his vehicle at his West Memphis home. According to police, a hand grenade was duct-taped to the tire and rigged to detonate when it moved.

Pierce was on his way to a meeting to hear complaints about Mann, who operated a practice in Russellville.

The couples' attorney says they likely won't collect the award since Mann is serving a life sentence in prison, but hopes they can receive proceeds from the sale of Mann and his wife's antique gun collection. Federal investigators seized 93 guns from Mann's collection, including antique and military weapons and machine guns. The weapons were meant to be destroyed as contraband, but Sangeeta Mann and Pierce filed court objections to their destruction on the grounds that they have monetary value.

The collection is estimated to be worth about $1.5 to $2 million.

The Family Practice Center where Piece works said that he would not comment on the case.

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