A jury in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court handed down a mulit-million dollar verdict against undercover journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merrick on Friday, a decision that could cost them over $2.2 million in alleged damages against Planned Parenthood.
According to LifeNews, the jury’s verdict came after a biased judge with ties to Planned Parenthood, told the jury just before they headed into deliberations after the month-long hearing that he had already found them guilty of trespassing at the events where the videos were made.
“I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations. Because I determined that these defendants trespassed, the law assumes that Planned Parenthood has been harmed and is entitled to an award of nominal damages such as one dollar for each trespass,” he told the jury.
As a result, the jury handed down their verdict under the federal Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations law (known as RICO), among others, in favor of Planned Parenthood.
Lawyers with the Thomas More Society, who have been defending Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress against Planned Parenthood since their client released damning videos depicting Planned Parenthood employees selling body parts procured from aborted babies, say they intend to appeal the verdict.
“We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America’s largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques.” Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Thomas More Society
“This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood’s dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs. David’s findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood, and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding,” continued Breen. “Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated.”
Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel, noted that the implications of this lawsuit go far beyond “exposing the evils of the abortion industry.”
“This case puts the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech on trial. It tests the sacred tenet of freedom of the press,” Brejcha explained. “Planned Parenthood decided that it was above the law. Planned Parenthood was wrong, and I am confident that we will win on appeal.”
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