Court Reduces Punitive Damages Against Radical Anti-Homosexual Church

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett has reduced by over half the damages awarded against a fundamentalist Kansas Church, which protests funerals of fallen soldiers from Iraq in a bizarre anti-homosexual crusade. The Westboro Baptist Church will now have to pay Albert Snyder, the fatehr of a dead Marine, $5 million rather than $10.9 million.

Bennett’s decision was a standard use of the power of remitur under which a court may reduce (but not increase) an award. The Court made the decision in light of the limited assets of the church.

Snyder sued the cult-like church for privacy violations after a 2006 demonstration at the Maryland funeral of his son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder. He secured a judgment against the Church and three of its leaders — Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebekah Phelps-Davis.

It was a proper reduction, though the assets of the Church appear quite limited. The church recently declared that it would protest the funeral of actor Heath Ledger for his role in the critically acclaimed movie, Brokeback Mountain, a story about gay cowboys.

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2 thoughts on “Court Reduces Punitive Damages Against Radical Anti-Homosexual Church”

  1. Oops, I should have said “Mr. Snyder’s son Matthew” for clarification. My apologies. 🙂

  2. Ssdly, I doubt Mr. Snyder will see much, if any, of that award, although I do think he deserves every dollar he can get. The conduct of Fred Phelps and his so-called “church” at the funeral of his son Matthew was outrageous and despicable. Due to the high level of security that will probably be at Mr. Ledger’s funeral, I doubt Phelps and his anti-homosexual zealots will even get close, at least I certainly hope it does not.

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