SC judge awarded $6 million in defamation suit

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A jury has awarded a Hilton Head Island municipal judge more than $6 million in a defamation lawsuit.

The Island Packet reports ( that Municipal Court Judge Maureen Coffey sued the Sea Pines property owners association, Community Services Associates, and its security chief George Breed.

The suit alleged that Coffey and her family was harassed and defamed during an investigation into a series of break-ins in which Coffey’s adopted brother was a suspect.

The Wednesday verdict came following six days of testimony in the trial. It included $2 million for damages to Coffey’s reputation and $4 million in punitive damages.

Attorneys for all parties declined comment following verdict. But a board member of the community association said the verdict will likely be appealed.

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