Monday, June 20, 2011

Federal Judge Orders Hustler Magazine to Pay $375k to Heirs of Murder Victim for Publishing Nude Pix

Chris Benoit as WWE United States Champion on ...Image via WikipediaThe Associated Press reports that U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Thomas Thrash, Jr. has approved a $375,000 damages award against Hustler Magazine for publishing nude photos of Nancy Benoit a year after she was murdered by her professional wrestler husband Chris Benoit who then committed suicide.

The case, Toffoloni v. LFP Publishing Group LLC d/b/a Hustler Magazine et al. (Case No. 1:2008-cv-00421) originally resulted in a $20 million jury verdict for Nancy Benoit's family, but Judge Thrash ruled that the judgment exceeded Georgia's ceiling on punitive damages. Benoit was killed in June 2007, and her nude pictorial appeared in Hustler the following year. The plaintiffs claimed Nancy Benoit had told the photographer to destroy the nude images that were subsequently published soon after they were taken.

The AP account claims an attorney for Benoit's family plans to appeal Judge Thrash's decision overturning the $20 million judgment.
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