Ala. Supreme Court upholds defamation judgment - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ala. Supreme Court upholds defamation judgment

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DAPHNE, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama state Supreme Court has upheld a jury's decision to award an Iranian-born businessman $7.5 million in a 2011 defamation lawsuit.

AL.com reports (http://bit.ly/1cwAmcJ) the court issued a unanimous decision Dec. 6 upholding its judgment against Pensacola, Fla. car dealership owner, Bob Tyler.

Shawn Esfahani, who owns Eastern Shore Toyota in Daphne, sued Tyler for slander and proved that his employees lied to shoppers and said he was an Iraqi terrorist who supported insurgents.

The jury awarded Esfahani $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

His attorney originally sought $28 million.

Esfahani's attorney, Vince Kilgore, says his client plans to use money from the judgment for philanthropic ventures.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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