The argument, which was made Monday morning before a St. Petersburg, Fla.-based jury, was related to the value of Gawker Media.
The defense said the company and all of its assets amounts to $83 million, and that last year, it earned gross revenue of $48.7 million.
“Additional punishment is unnecessary,” Gawker’s lawyer Michael Berry told the jury. “The amount you have rendered in your verdict is already far beyond their means.”
The lawyer said awarding more to Bollea would be “financially devastating” to Gawker founder Nick Denton and that for former editor A.J. Daulerio it means “financial ruin.” Berry estimated Denton’s net worth is around $121 million; Daulerio has nothing but $27,000 in student debt.
Jurors could award up to three times the amount it awarded Bollea on Friday, near half a billion dollars.
“Your verdict will send a chill down the spine of writers, producers and publishers throughout the country,” the lawyer said, noting that journalists will already “think twice” about publishing sex tapes.
Bollea’s lawyer Ken Turkel told jurors to use their $115 million reward as a “guideline” for punitive damages.
The jury is expected to return with its judgment later today.
The trial stems from Gawker’s decision to publish a leaked video of Bollea having sex with his friend’s wife. Bollea has maintained that he did not know he was being filmed, and that Gawker violated his right to privacy in publishing clips from the tape in 2012.