If the $115 million judgement in favor of Hulk Hogan against Gawker was a body slam, the latest reward is the leg drop.
Days after a jury handed the Hulkster $55 million in economic damages and $60 million in emotional damages, Hogan received an additional $25 million for punitive damages. President & General Counsel of Gawker Media Heather Dietrick responded to the verdicts.
Soon after Hulk Hogan brought his original lawsuits in 2012, three state appeals court judges and a federal judge repeatedly ruled that Gawker’s post was newsworthy under the First Amendment. We expect that to happen again — particularly because the jury was prohibited from knowing about these court rulings in favor of Gawker, prohibited from seeing critical evidence gathered by the FBI and prohibited from hearing from the most important witness, Bubba Clem.
Didn’t the jury deserve to know that Bubba told his radio listeners and then the FBI, in a meeting where lying is a criminal offense, that Hulk Hogan knew he was making a sex tape? Didn’t the jury deserve to know the FBI uncovered multiple tapes of Hulk Hogan having sex with Bubba’s wife? Didn’t the jury deserve to know about the text messages Hulk Hogan sent to Bubba that undermine this case?
There is so much this jury deserved to know and, fortunately, that the appeals court does indeed know. So we are confident we will win this case ultimately based on not only on the law but also on the truth.
The latest award brings the total compensation amount to a whopping $140 million.
$15 million of the $25 million is to be paid by Gawker while $10 million is to be paid by founder Nick Denton and an additional $100,000 from former editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio, Law Newz reported.
While Gawker plans on appealing the decision, and will likely get the amount reduced, Florida law says they’ll have to post a $50 million bond during the process. They can try to appeal the bond requirement, but they would have to convince Judge Pamela Campbell, who presided over the trial, to let them off the hook. Good luck with that, since Judge Campbell has hardly been Gawker-friendly throughout this process. The judge had previously sealed documents related to the case that Gawker wanted to use as evidence, and an appellate court overturned her decision, making them available to the public.
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