'Girls Gone Wild' Plaintiff to Get New Trial
Jurors had turned down her claim that the producers of the video damaged her reputation by showing her tank top being pulled down by another person in a Laclede's Landing bar.
This week, Circuit Judge John J. Riley granted a new trial, saying that the jury's finding was against the weight of the evidence, according to STLToday.com.
"It is clear from viewing the video that plaintiff was an unwilling participant in the exposure of her breasts, and she can be seen visibly mouthing 'no' and she immediately covered herself up after her top was pulled down," he said.
"It is apparent that plaintiff did not consent to her bare breasts being filmed and used by defendants."
The woman, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, was 20 when she went to the former Rum Jungle Bar, where the incident happened in 2004. The woman sued in 2008, after a friend of her husband's told her that she was in one of the videos. She is a married mother of two, living in the St. Charles area.
Her lawyers sought about $5 million in damages, including $1.5 million they claimed the producers made on the "Girls Gone Wild Sorority Orgy" installment of a series in which women are encouraged to expose themselves at parties.
The defense claimed in the first trial that she silently consented to be in the video by attending the party. Eleven members of the jury agreed. The case required agreement by at least nine of the 12 jurors.
The defendants are Mantra Films Inc. and MRA Holding LLC.
“I'm kind of shocked and surprised," defense attorney David Dalton said.
"It was a pretty cleanly tried case, and the plaintiff got to present all the information they wanted. I was disappointed. I thought the jury did a great job in listening to all the evidence and making their verdict."
Stephen Evans, the plaintiff's attorney, said he and his client had been shocked by the jury's verdict but were happy to learn of the judge's ruling this week.
“She's very pleased and very happy to have the opportunity for another jury to decide on the case," Evans said.