Posts on Twitter.com leads to appeal
A building materials company and its owner appealed a $12.6 million verdict, alleging the posts onto Twitter by a juror during the trial show he's biased against them.
The motion was filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court in Fayetteville on the behalf of Russell Wright and his company, Stoam Holdings. It claims eight messages were sent by juror Johnathan Powell to the Web on his cellular phone during the court case and influenced the outcome of the case.
According to USA Today, lawyer Drew Ledbetter wrote that the messages show Powell "was predisposed toward giving a verdict that would impress his audience."
The court case on Feb. 26 awarded $12.6 million two northwest Arkansas men who invested in the company, Mark Deihl and William Nystrom. The company sold Stoam, a building material that claimed to have the insulation abilities of foam and the strength of steel.
Deihl's attorney, Greg Brown, told the Associated Press the company was "nothing more than a Ponzi scheme."
During the court case, Powell sent eight messages to Twitter.com. According to USA Today, one of those read, "So Johnathan, what did you do today? Oh nothing really, I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."
"I didn't really do anything wrong, so it's kind of crazy that they're trying to use this to get the case thrown out," Powell told the Associated Press. "I understand where they're coming from, they lost over $12 million."
Greg Brown, Deihl's attorney, told AP he doubts a new trial will be granted. He said the defendants must prove outside information entered the jury room and corrupted a verdict, not that information made its way out.