Tracey Neild was pleased to learn Friday a judge awarded her $3.7 million for damages suffered during a 2009 attack in which her throat was slashed and her friend was killed. But the Waldoboro woman wasn’t able to talk about it over the phone.

Neild still cannot speak above a whisper, two years and a dozen surgeries since her throat was cut “from one ear to the other,” said her lawyer, Sumner Lipman, of Augusta firm Lipman & Katz.

Lipman acknowledged it will probably be difficult for Neild to collect damages from the two attackers, who are serving prison sentences, but said the decision handed down Friday by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm is hardly worthless.

“Collectibility is a problem,” Lipman said, “but we felt it’s important that they don’t get away with it and be held financially responsible.”

Earl Bieler III, who murdered 27-year-old Rachel Grindal and slashed Neild’s throat at Neild’s home in April 2009, was sentenced last year to 55 years in prison, according to published reports.

Corina Durkee, who accompanied Bieler through a string of crimes that ended with the attack, received a 15-year sentence.

“They thought there would be no witnesses. They didn’t think she would live,” Lipman said.

According to reports after the attack, Neild wrote the names of the attackers on a piece of paper.

Bieler and Durkee, who knew the victims and had been in an argument with them on the day of the attack, jointly owe the $3.7 million awarded to Neild for damages, medical expenses and loss of income, Lipman said.

He said if either have any way of paying Neild now, he’s not aware of it.

“When they get out of prison, they’re responsible,” Lipman said.

He said Bieler and Durkee frequently move around within the prison system, and he wasn’t sure Friday where they were serving their sentences. But, he said, both were present in Lincoln County Superior Court last week for a hearing on Neild’s lawsuit.

Lipman said they were not represented by attorneys.

He said Neild, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, asked him to speak on her behalf.