Media companies just got some bad news, The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports, and it’s all part of the fallout from that Gawker case in which Hulk Hogan won a $140 million verdict over a sex tape back in March 2016.
In the latest development, a judge in New York has ruled that California’s free speech statute conflicts with federal rules, THR reports.
Back when Hogan won the big verdict, some legal observers suggested the decision didn’t create much in the way of legal precedent, THR notes, adding: “On Monday, that might have changed with a new opinion from a New York bankruptcy judge that touches on a hot legal topic. It’s a decision that could have the effect of making it easier to sue media and entertainment companies.”
Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the Hogan verdict. The latest ruling pertains to a separate case in which alt-right journalist Chuck Johnson has objected to the Gawker liquidation plan and is pursuing claims against Gawker. THR provides a detailed breakdown of the issues decided this week, which involve personal injury torts and anti-SLAPP laws.
The takeaway is that Johnson — and potentially, others who follow in his footsteps — may have a lower standard of proof to meet as his case moves forward.
We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR for the full explanation.