Prenda and Paul Duffy Required to Pay Punitive Damages


There have been many stories concerning Prenda and Paul Duffy (now deceased). Prenda began as a law firm that would sue defendants who, it claimed, downloaded pornographic movies without paying for them. Eventually, Prenda, Duffy, and his colleagues stirred up a Hornet’s nest of bad publicity and strong opposition. Defendants claimed that Prenda was a scam.

Prenda and Duffy were sanctioned by several federal district courts for false pleadings and efforts to mislead judges. Prenda appealed and lost all the appeals. This particular case, Duffy v. Godfread, 13 cv 01569  was handled by Judge Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois. The original complaint was filed by Duffy and Prenda and was for defamation. The factual allegations made by Prenda quickly unraveled and the defendants moved for sanctions. Judge Darrah ordered sanctions.

Judge Darrah’s sanction orders were affirmed by the Seventh Circuit. On remand Judge Darrah entered judgment in favor of the Defendants and ordered Duffy and Prenda to pay (a) sanctions of $11,758.20; (b) actual damages of $162,448.74 and (c) punitive damages of $500,000.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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