Having already gone beyond what the plaintiff was asking for — to the tune of $15 million — the jury in wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media met again on Monday to deliberate additional punitive damages against Gawker, founder Nick Denton, and former editor A.J. Daulerio. The figure: an additional $25 million dollars.
Last week, the same jury awarded a staggering $115 million in strictly compensatory damages. In court earlier today, Judge Pamela Campbell briefed jurors on the net worth of the defendants: Gawker, $83 million; Denton, $121 million; Daulerio, no assets, but $27,000 in student debt.
The jurors decided to award more than $25 million in punitive damages (bringing the total to over $140 million). Of the punitive damages, Gawker owes $15 million, Denton owes $10 million, and Daulerio owes $100,000. One juror, in light of Daulerio’s debt, asked whether they could impose community service in lieu of a financial penalty; the answer was no.
Prior to this afternoon’s verdict, Gawker called into question the jury’s full knowledge of the case. The company said in a statement that “Today’s proceedings are before the same jury that was deprived of the important facts finally disclosed in the newly unsealed documents … The jury also does not know that a state appeals court and a federal judge, on four separate occasions, ruled that the Gawker post was newsworthy.”