Federal appeals court voids $19.6 million judgment against Hustler Magazine

The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a $19.6 million jury award to the family of Nancy Benoit who sued Hustler Magazine for publishing nude photos of her after she was murdered by her husband.

“Because there was overwhelming evidence that [the publishing company] reasonably and honestly (albeit mistakenly) believed that the photographs were subject to the newsworthiness exception to the right of publicity, we conclude that no reasonable jury could find by clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages were warranted in this case,” the court wrote. -db

From the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, May 3, 2012, by Rachel Bunn.

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