Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Judge reduces damages in funeral protest case

February 5, 2008


— A federal judge in Baltimore has upheld the October jury verdict in the lawsuit brought against a Kansas-based fundamentalist church group for its anti-gay protest at the 2006 Maryland funeral of a Marine in Iraq.

However, on Monday the judge reduced by more than half the total amount of damages awarded to the plaintiff, Albert Snyder, father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett means the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church and three of its members must pay total compensatory and punitive damages of $5 million for emotional distress and invasion of privacy. The original jury award was $10.9 million.

Bennett cited Supreme Court precedent requiring the judge to weigh the nature of the harm suffered by Snyder against the financial resources of Westboro and its members to finance a large damage award.

The appeal by Westboro to overturn the verdict is still pending. Bennett must decide how much of a bond the church and its members will have to post while the appeal continues. Church members have argued that they should not be required to post a bond during the appeals process.

Westboro members believe U.S. deaths in Iraq are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.


Ragingbear 10 years, 1 month ago

Actually, this is even worse. WBC could not afford the original judgment against them, and were preparing for Bankruptcy. Now they have to pay this money instead because they actually have it.

akt2 10 years, 1 month ago

Money is the least of their problem. They are all going to hell.

pusscanthropus 10 years, 1 month ago

God hates Phelps! They are going to burn in hell -- and I won't even say what the devil is going to do with his hot-iron pitchfork!

acg 10 years, 1 month ago

Naw pusscanthropus, God doesn't hate anyone. That's the point here. These idiots are going to spend their lives railing against gays and America and "fag enablers" only to die and find out in the end that the one thing God hates the most is hate and murder and war brought about in his name.

pusscanthropus 10 years, 1 month ago

acg, while agree with your point about what God hates, the Phelps are an abomination and his holiness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), revealed to me what would happen to the Phelps. If you have any doubts about these revelations and how modern religions have gotten it all wrong, go to:

acg 10 years, 1 month ago

I have no illusions about organized religion pusscanthropus. I've always known organized religions have been a poison to our society and its people. I think the best thing that could happen to these losers is that they go broke and fade away into the background. Anything else runs the risk of martyring them and that would be a travesty.

mom_of_three 10 years, 1 month ago

I don't know if the people of Australia would take kindly to a protest at a funeral of a native son. And does Australia have the same freedom of speech as we do here?
There might not be as much police protection there as there is here.
That could be interesting to see how another country reacts to them.... although I don't wish them on anyone....

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