Update on the family of Nancy Benoit vs. Hustler case

Jun 18, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck

A jury on Friday voted to penalize Hustler magazine nearly $20 million for publishing nude photographs of wrestler Chris Benoit’s late wife — a verdict overturned by the presiding judge moments later.

Instead, the adult magazine will be liable for only $375,000 in compensatory and punitive damages after U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. ruled the jury could not exceed Georgia’s punitive cap.

Richard Decker, hired by Nancy Benoit’s family in 2008 after Hustler published the photos, said he will appeal the judge’s decision. State law allows a jury to exceed the $250,000 cap if it’s proven the defendant “acted … with intent to harm.”

“There was certainly enough evidence presented to the jury which showed specific intent,” Decker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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