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Civil Procedure Keyed to Babcock
Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts
Citation:351 F.2d 702 (5th Cir. 1965)
Defendant Curtis published a libelous article in one of its Posts claiming that plaintiff Butts, the Athletic Director at the University of Georgia, rigged a game. At trial it was clear that Defendant Curtis knew the information was false but published it anyway. The jury entered a verdict for Plaintiff Butts in the amount of $460,000 in general damages and $3,000,000 in punitive damages. Defendant Curtis filed a motion for a new trial based on the size of the punitive damage award. The motion was granted on the condition that Plaintiff Butts failed to remit the portion of the award above $400,000. Plaintiff Curtis filed another motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict which was denied. After Plaintiff Butts filed a remittitur and Defendant Curtis’ motion for a new trial was denied and a judgement for Butts in the amount of $460,000 was entered. Defendant Curtis again filed another motion for a new trial under FRCP 60 which was also denied. Defendant Curtis appealed.
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