California’s First District Court of Appeal has upheld a 2008 jury verdict which awarded the San Francisco Bay Guardian $16 million in damages from SF Weekly. After accruing two years’ worth of interest, the award is now worth over $21 million.
In the initial trial, a San Francisco jury determined that SF Weekly violated state law by selling ads below cost in an attempt to put the Bay Guardian out of business. SF Weekly has been appealing the ruling, but yesterday a three-judge panel decided to uphold the damages.
Writing on the Bay Guardian‘s blog, editor Tim Redmond called the ruling “a dramatic victory for small independent businesses in California.”
Update: Eli Sanders at The Stranger is reporting that the two parties may be discussing a settlement.
See also: Earlier this year, Sanders wrote an in-depth feature story about the case.