Iowa Lawmaker Seeks Punitive Damages

April 12, 2012

State Sen. Rick Bertrand has asked a court to allow punitive damages in the slander lawsuit he won.

The Sioux City Journal says the Sioux City Republican filed the court paperwork on Monday.

On Friday, a jury awarded Bertrand $231,000 in defamation damages. Bertrand filed the lawsuit in October 2010 against his Democratic opponent, Rick Mullin, and the Iowa Democratic Party. Bertrand said he was defamed by a campaign ad that said Bertrand “put profits ahead of children’s health.”

The court rejected a motion to let the jury award punitive damages.

Bertrand said Monday the jury should have had a say in whether he deserved additional money. He wants his court victory to send a message that will “stop the political machines from doing this again to other people.”

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