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Gawker Media continues to pay the price in their lawsuit involving Hulk Hogan.
Just three days after the former pro wrestler was awarded $115 million in his legal case against the media blog, a jury reached a verdict in regards to punitive damages.
On Monday afternoon, Gawker Media was hit with $15 million in punitive damages while its founder Nick Denton will have to personally pay $10 million. The decision came after only about three hours of deliberations.
Friday’s financial award was for economic injuries and emotional distress while today’s ruling specifically related to punitive damages typically awarded to punish the defendant.
In court testimony, Hulk’s lawyer said Gawker Media is worth $83 million while the founder is said to have a net-worth of $121 million pre-judgment.
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For those who haven’t been following the case closely in recent weeks, Hulk sued the media company for $100 million back in 2012 and accused the website of invasion of privacy and other torts after posting 101 seconds of a sex tape featuring the wrestling icon and his ex Heather Clem.
“Thank you God for justice, only love 4life,” Hulk shared on Twitter after the initial verdict was read Friday evening. “Told ya I was gonna slam another giant.”
His team added, “We’re exceptionally happy with the verdict. We think it represents a statement as to the public’s disgust with the invasion of privacy disguised as journalism. The verdict says no more.”
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That sentiment was only echoed Monday when the team added, “We are extremely happy with the verdict and [Hulk] feels vindicated. Our victory will also deter others from victimizing innocent people. This verdict now requires those organizations to respect privacy and if not pay the price for failing to do so.”
Gawker, however, made it clear that they will be ready to fight once the appeals process begins.
“There is so much this jury deserved to know and, fortunately, that the appeals court does indeed know,” Gawker said in a statement. “So we are confident we will win this case ultimately based on not only on the law but also on the truth.”
—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua and Beth Sobol
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