Judge Halves Damages In Westboro Baptist Church Soldier Case

The $10.9 million Westboro Baptist Church was ordered to pay to the father of a soldier slain in Iraq was halved by a judge today:

Phelps“In a 52-page decision, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett upheld a jury’s verdict awarding the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder multimillion-dollar damages for enduring emotional distress and having his privacy invaded by Westboro members waving anti-gay signs at the Marine’s funeral in March 2006. ‘There was also more than sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict on defendants’ liability,’ Bennett wrote. ‘There was more than sufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict that defendants’ conduct before, during and after the funeral of Matthew Snyder was outrageous, designed to inflict emotional distress upon plaintiff and that the intrusion upon the seclusion of plaintiff and his family was highly offensive to a reasonable person.’ But the judge more than halved the total $10.9 million award to $5 million. He upheld the jury’s compensatory damage award of $2.9 million but reduced the total punitive damages from $8 million to $2.1 million. An appeal by Westboro to overturn the verdict is still pending.”

Albert Snyder’s case was the first brought against the church for their protests at military funerals. Westboro Baptist claims that U.S. military deaths are God’s punishment for a nation that tolerates homosexuals.

Slain Soldier’s Father Awarded $11 Million in Westboro Baptist Case [tr]
Westboro Baptist Church Thumbs Nose at $11 Million Judgment [tr]
Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist to Picket Heath Ledger Funeral [tr]


  1. Himbo with Highlites says

    I wonder why the parents of the gay men who have been picketed did not file similar suits. Looks profitable. Not that the snake and his snakelings will ever pay a dime. It would be too fitting for him and his inbred clan to be tossed in the street penniless while every last stitch they own is auctioned off to pay the award….Oh well, I need to stop dreaming.

  2. So Left I'm Right says

    I don’t understand this…let me guess, a Republican judge. I agree, every family who is picketed by this maniacs should sue and bankrupt their asses. At the very least, bog them down with endless legal costs!

  3. Garst says

    If God really was punishing this nation by killing our soldiers, shouldn’t members of the Westboro Baptist Church turn to pillars of salt? They are watching as God is supposedly destroying this country.

  4. Dave says

    I wonder about Westboro’s acounting practices…They send members all over the country to protest, so I am sure there are serveral hundreds, if not thousands depending on the people-count, of dollars per trip. Do they use their own private money, or are they using church funds and then claiming these trips are “church business”? Would be a very interesting audit to say the least. Any gay IRS agents willing to raise the flag of concern?
    Also, at what point in this country are we willing to say that the freedom of (a particular) religion has gone too far in relation to violation of others’ civil rights? At what point is Westboro’s religion in direct odds with others’ right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”?