Undefended Defamation Case Results in Huge Jury Verdict

It’s amazing what you can do when the defendant doesn’t show up at trial.

A South Florida jury has awarded a record $11.3 million in damages to a woman who was defamed by another woman on the Internet.

Sue Scheff of Weston, Fla., sued Carey Bock of Mandeville, La., in December 2003 over the messages posted calling her a crook, a con artist and a fraud, USA Today reported Wednesday. The dispute was centered on a referral business Scheff runs that helps parents of troubled children find appropriate schools, the newspaper said. After their transaction involving Bock’s two sons, Bock began posting the messages, the jury was told.

Bock was unable to pay an attorney and did not attend the Broward County, Fla., trial or enter a defense, and Scheff said she doubted she’d see any money at all.

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Aaron Morris
Morris & Stone, LLP

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View Aaron Morris, Trial Attorney and Partner at Morris & Stone, with emphasis on Free Speech and Defamation Law.

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