A Virginia pass judgement on on Wednesday rejected an effort via actress Amber Heard to both have a mistrial declared or put aside the $10 million US judgment awarded towards her in favour of her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.
Depp received a defamation go well with towards Heard closing month in a high-profile civil trial. Heard received a smaller, $2 million judgment on a counterclaim she filed towards Depp.
Previous this month, Heard filed a movement looking for to have Depp’s verdict put aside, or have a mistrial declared. Her attorneys cited more than one components, together with an obvious case of wrong identification through which some of the seven jurors who determined the case used to be by no means summoned for jury responsibility.
In a written order, Pass judgement on Penney Azcarate rejected all of Heard’s claims and stated the juror factor particularly used to be inappropriate and that Heard can not display the juror used to be prejudiced.
Courtroom sure via resolution of jury, pass judgement on says
“The juror used to be vetted, sat for all the jury, deliberated and reached a verdict. The one proof earlier than this Courtroom is this juror and all jurors adopted their oaths, the Courtroom’s directions, and orders. This Courtroom is certain via the competent resolution of the jury,” Azcarate wrote.
Depp sued for $50 million US in Virginia’s Fairfax County, after Heard wrote a 2018 op-ed in The Washington Publish about home violence through which she referred to herself as “a public determine representing home abuse.”
The object by no means discussed Depp via title, however his attorneys stated a number of passages within the article defamed him via implication via regarding extremely publicized abuse allegations she made in 2016 as she filed for divorce.
Heard then filed a $100 million counterclaim, additionally for defamation. By the point the case went to trial, her counterclaim have been whittled right down to a couple of statements made via one among Depp’s attorneys, who referred to as Heard’s abuse allegations a hoax.
The jury awarded $15 million to Depp and $2 million to Heard on her counterclaim. The $15 million judgment used to be decreased to $10.35 million as a result of Virginia legislation caps punitive damages at $350,000.
Verdicts referred to as ‘inconsistent and irreconcilable’
The pass judgement on didn’t spell out her rationale for rejecting Heard’s different claims in Wednesday’s order.
Amongst different issues, Heard argued that the $10 million verdict is unsupported via the info, and turns out to exhibit that jurors failed to concentrate on the fallout from the 2018 op-ed — as they have been intended to do — and as an alternative simply seemed widely on the injury Depp’s popularity suffered because of the alleged abuse.
Heard’s attorneys additionally argued that the verdicts for Depp on one hand and Heard at the different are essentially nonsensical.
“The jury’s duelling verdicts are inconsistent and irreconcilable,” her attorneys, Elaine Bredehoft and Benjamin Rottenborn, wrote.
Juror served improperly, attorneys alleged
Heard’s attorneys additionally challenged the decision at the foundation that some of the seven jurors who determined the case used to be by no means summoned for jury responsibility.
In step with courtroom papers, a 77-year-old county resident won a jury summons. However the guy’s son, who has the similar title and lives on the similar cope with, answered to the summons and served in his stead.
Heard’s attorneys argued that Virginia legislation is strict about juror identities, and the case of wrong identification is grounds for a mistrial.
They offered no proof that the 52-year-old son, known in courtroom papers most effective as Juror 15, purposefully or insidiously sought to switch his father, however they argue that risk will have to no longer be discounted.
“The Courtroom can not suppose, as Mr. Depp asks it to, that Juror 15’s it sounds as if incorrect provider used to be an blameless mistake. It might had been an intentional try to serve at the jury of a high-profile case,” Heard’s attorneys wrote.
Heard nonetheless has the facility to attraction the decision to the Virginia Courtroom of Appeals.