In a distressing update regarding the case of a group of investigative journalists whose undercover videos revealed shady dealings by Planned Parenthood executives in exchange for aborted fetal organs, one defendant has been ordered to pay a staggering sum to the abortion behemoth for legal fees.
According to Liberty Counsel, a religious liberty legal aid organization, U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick III issued an order last week ordering Sandra Merritt to pay over $13 million in “attorney fees and costs” as well as over $2 million in damages to Planned Parenthood.
Although Liberty Counsel had appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Judge Orrick’s original verdict, Orrick ignored Merritt’s request to wait until the appeal ruling before issuing any further orders. As a result, Planned Parenthood has now been awarded more than six times the amount of the original jury verdict in attorney fees and costs.
Merritt worked alongside David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, to record and publish several videos back in 2015 exposing Planned Parenthood’s practice of trafficking aborted baby body parts in exchange for “donations.”
Life News reports on the devastating case:
Throughout the six-week trial, Judge Orrick specifically influenced the way the jury considered the issues and blocked them from watching many of the recorded conversations in the undercover videos. Orrick also told members of the jury they couldn’t look at this as a First Amendment case, where freedom of speech and the press could be considered as a defense. However, Merritt and Daleiden acted according to the parameters of California recording law and no other citizen journalist or journalism organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings made in the public interest. The San Francisco jury decided in favor of the abortion giant on each count, including RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations), and awarded more than $2 million in damages.
Back in 2017, Liberty Counsel requested that Orrick recuse himself from the case over his ties to Planned Parenthood and the fact that his wife is a vehement pro-abortion activist.
“Today’s decision adds insult to the profound injury inflicted by Planned Parenthood on those who exposed its misdeeds,” said Liberty Counsel’s Chief Litigation Counsel Horatio Mihet of the ruling. “Planned Parenthood deserves scorn and criminal prosecution for its barbaric practice, not millions of dollars in reward. We are asking the higher courts to right this wrong as part of our ongoing efforts to vindicate Sandra Merritt for her courageous work in exposing the truth about Planned Parenthood.”
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