Big Law

Pa. County loses bid to overturn $68M damage award

A federal judge found no reason to overturn a jury’s verdict that awarded $1,000 each to nearly 68,000 former Bucks County prison inmates for violating their privacy.

Bucks County has lost its initial attempt to overturn a nearly $68 million punitive damage award for violating the privacy of thousands of former county inmates by posting confidential information on a publicly accessible database.

U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone rejected the county’s petition to reconsider the record-setting award as well as its request for a new trial.

The decision clears the way for the case to move to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The appeal is expected to take one to two years, according to Jonathan Shub, one of the attorneys representing the lead plaintiff in the class-action suit.

“Plaintiffs believe the district court’s detailed opinion arrived at the correct result,” Shub said. “The court’s opinion respects the jury’s finding.”

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