Hoffman v. ClarkAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the ruling of the court of appeals affirming the jury's verdict on libel-per-se damages and punitive damages, holding that remittitur was appropriate in this case.
After a jury trial, Hoffmann Innovations, Inc. and Jerry Hoffmann were awarded $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Scott Clark based on defamatory statements that Clark made on social media and in podcasts. During the proceedings, the trial court repeatedly sanctioned Clark for violating a consent order preventing both parties from making disparaging statements about each other. Ultimately, the court struck Clark's answer and affirmative defenses in an attempt to secure compliance with sanctions. Without any defense pleaded to the claims, the trial proceeded on only the amount of damages. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that the jury used the wrong measure of damages on the damages awarded and that remittitur was also appropriate for punitive damages.