Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

Multimillion-Dollar Verdicts For Hate Speech at GI's Funeral Overturned

By Joel Zand on September 24, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

(U.S. Ct. of Appeals, 4th Cir., Sept. 24, 2009) - A federal appeals court in Virginia overturned a U.S. district court's award of $8 million in compensatory damages and $2.1 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder against a hate-speech prone preacher and his church for protesting against gays in the military near the deceased soldier's funeral.

Why did the court overturn the verdict for Albert Snyder, Matthew's father, against Fred W. Phelps and his Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church?

The majority opinion concluded that tort liability cannot attach to constitutionally protected speech.

You can read the complete court opinion here:


You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard