Thursday, February 22, 2024

US jury awards $25m in damages over Unite the Right rally

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A US jury has awarded $25m (£19m) in damages against the organisers of a deadly far-right rally in August 2017.

The defendants were found liable in four out of six counts over the bloodshed at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The civil lawsuit was filed by nine people who suffered physical or emotional injuries in the rally.

A woman was killed and dozens were hurt after an avowed neo-Nazi drove a car into counter-protesters.

In court, the jury awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against 12 defendants, and $1m against five white supremacist organisations. Punitive damages are awarded at a court’s discretion to punish a defendant for conduct judged to be especially harmful.

A total of $12m in punitive damages was also imposed against the driver of the car in the fatal incident.

The jury of 11 deliberated for over three days following nearly a month of testimony at the trial in Charlottesville.

The two federal conspiracy charges that jurors could not agree on alleged that the defendants had plotted to commit racially motivated violence.

Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said they plan to refile the lawsuit so a new jury can decide on those two charges.

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