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Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Judge reduces damages in funeral protest case

February 5, 2008

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— 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.

Comments

mom_of_three 6 years, 2 months 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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Agnostick 6 years, 2 months ago

They've been crowing and catterwalling about a trip to Australia to protest Heath Ledger's funeral.

They have the money for that--a taxpayer-subsidized trip for "missionary work" in Australia--but not to pay your legal fees, the court cases you've lost?

Doesn't matter if the damages are $10 million... $5 million... or even $1 million. If they only have a few hundred thousand in assets and holdings, they're still gonna hurt.

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acg 6 years, 2 months 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.

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pusscanthropus 6 years, 2 months 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: http://www.venganza.org/

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acg 6 years, 2 months 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.

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pusscanthropus 6 years, 2 months 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!

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Bowhunter99 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm excited this is happening elsewhere... I truly enjoy having the clowns out of town and busy fighting fires elsewhere.

They should be force to put a 2-3MM bond on it. Tie up their money and resources. Keep them busy traveling to Baltimore and other places.

Some other soldier's family should do the same thing in California or somewhere out west so they're forced to go coast-to-coast to defend themselves.

Divide and Conquer...

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akt2 6 years, 2 months ago

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

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Ragingbear 6 years, 2 months 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.

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Kathy Gragg 6 years, 2 months ago

See Phred has already gotten the amount reduced, it is only a matter of time before he gets the whole thing overturned.

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