Award to Doctors Significantly Reduced in ‘Nuremberg Files’ Case

A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reduced the damages awarded to abortion providers in the “Nuremberg Files” case from $108 million to $4.73 million, the maximum allowed under a 2003 Supreme Court precedent. The case, American Coalition of Life Activists v. Planned Parenthood, originated as a suit filed in 1999 by Planned Parenthood of Oregon and four Oregon doctors listed on WANTED-style posters on the Nuremberg Files website against 13 anti-abortion extremists and the anti-abortion groups American Coalition of Life Activists and Advocates for Life Ministries. The website included personal information about the doctors, and the names of doctors who were murdered had lines through them crossing them off.

Maria Vullo, an attorney who represented the doctors in the case, said that despite the reduced damages, “the court made it clear the defendants’ conduct was highly reprehensible,” according to the Associated Press. The court’s opinion stated, “ACLA did what it did knowing that physicians would believe that what had happened to others who had been identified on posters would happen to them, that is that they would be killed, and that this would frighten them into quitting their practice rather than risk suffering the same fate,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Associated Press 9/6/05; Los Angeles Times 9/7/05; San Francisco Chronicle 9/7/05

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