The jury in the Rolling Stone Magazine defamation case made quick work of the damages phase of the trial when it awarded Dean Eramo $3 million for defamation.
As was widely reported in the press, the jury determined that $1 million dollars was owed by Rolling Stone Magazine and $2 million was assessed against reporter Sabrina Erdley (Rolling Stone will assume responsibility for Ms. Erdley’s damages).
The reports portrayed Dean Eramo as a sympathetic figure who was weeping during her testimony, how she testified that she had suicidal thoughts due to the article, and also the article’s impact on her dealing with a double mastectomy for breast cancer that she was due to undergo at the time of the publication of the article.
Having lost the liability phase of the trial defense counsel was left in a very untenable position of trying to mount a defense during the damages portion of the trial. Among the arguments that they mounted was that Dean Eramo had received a pay increase and that Rolling Stone Magazine had been punished enough just by the finding of liability and that damages were not necessary. None of these arguments held sway.