Last week’s huge jury award for wrestler Hulk Hogan in his sex tape lawsuit against Gawker has some observers speculating that the website might be dead. As we reported previously, Hogan was awarded damages of $115 million in the invasion-of-privacy case. That number could go up this week, as the jury is now considering punitive damages.
USA Today reports that evidence suggests Gawker Media, which runs a number of gossip and news websites, doesn’t have the money to pay the huge award.
“Unlike the $115 million award for Hogan’s personal suffering, punitive damages will be added if the Clearwater, Fla., jury decides Gawker and its founder should be punished for malicious and reckless behavior,” USA Today reports. “Such damages can often prove more devastating than compensatory damages.”
But predictions of the site’s demise are premature, the paper reports, as Gawker has a number of options. “For starters, the company is expected to ask the judge to reduce the award, a process known as remittitur that allows judges to reduce a verdict if it is determined excessive,” the story reports. “They are also expected to appeal the case and seek to have the guilty verdict, and the damages that go with it, overturned.”