Jury awards lesson: BIG money then…

Not going to do too much with the Gawker-Hulk Hogan business (especially because the news about it has dropped Bubba the Love Sponge Clem from the story and I’m really only interested in mentioning Bubba the Love Sponge Clem)…

This brief mention from FiveThirtyEight’s Significant Digits for today is a clear description of how and why those immense jury awards we read about–in Hulk’s case, $140 million–get sharply reduced. Here, rather than going through a lengthy appeals process (as 538 notes), the two sides settled for much less than the jury number.

So, you can decide on a jury trial, go through the trial, get a great jury verdict and award and then go into settlement discussions. Seems askew, doesn’t it? But thing is, when a plaintiff sues somebody, almost right from the filing of the complaint, settlement discussions begin.

Because settling is the most efficient–and usually least expensive–way of ending a lawsuit.

$31 million

Gawker LLC reached a $31 million settlement with Hulk Hogan, ending a legal process that had the potential to last very expensive years. A jury in Florida awarded Hogan $140 million, though the former gossip site had strong potential to win on appeals. The bulk of Gawker was sold to Univision. [Reuters]

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