Giuliani Must Pay Almost $150 Million to Georgia Election Workers in Defamation Lawsuit

Rudy Giuliani Ordered to Pay $148 Million for Defaming Election Workers
Former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay a whopping $148 million to two former Georgia election workers for defaming them during the 2020 presidential election. The jury entered deliberations and returned with their verdict after roughly four days, dealing a significant blow to Giuliani, who is reportedly facing financial hardships.

The plaintiffs had requested at least $48 million in reputational damages, on top of punitive damages and intentional infliction of emotional distress. After deliberations, the jurors awarded former election worker Ruby Freeman $16,171,000 and her daughter, Shay Moss, $16,998,000 for compensatory damages related to defamation, in addition to punitive damages reaching $75 million for both. This was a shocking amount, according to the judge, and did not include the over $200,000 that Giuliani was ordered to pay in the case.

The trial focused on determining the amount that Giuliani should pay rather than establishing the defamatory nature of his statements. The jurors were instructed to assume that Giuliani defamed the former election workers and had no legal right to do so. The election workers had been identified in a widely circulated video clip allegedly mishandling ballots. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation by the Georgia Elections Board, Freeman and Moss claimed that the damage had already been done.

Giuliani’s refusal to produce requested documents and other information led to a default judgment against him in August. He also chose not to contest allegations that he made false and defamatory statements about the election workers. During the trial, Giuliani’s attorney claimed that the requested damages would spell “the end” for his client, describing it as the “civil equivalent of a death penalty.”

The plaintiffs’ attorney defended the damages, arguing that Giuliani was responsible for spreading harmful content about them. He likened Giuliani’s actions to using rocket fuel and kerosene to burn down a house, making it dangerous to live in even after repairs. While acknowledging that the plaintiffs had been wronged, Giuliani’s attorney criticized the witnesses’ conduct and suggested that the plaintiffs’ counsel was engaging in “puppeteering” during testimony.

After the verdict, Giuliani called the awarded amount “absurd” and expressed confidence that it would be reversed, claiming that he wasn’t able to present all the evidence he would have liked to at trial. He also cited concerns about the judge potentially punishing him unfairly if he had testified.

This verdict represents a significant development in the ongoing legal battles related to the 2020 election, adding to the financial and legal troubles faced by Giuliani. It remains to be seen how this decision will impact the broader political and legal landscape.

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