In the news right now is Hulk Hogan settling with Gawker for $31 million. This is a significant drop from the original $140 million judgement. What motivations would Hogan have for accepting this settlement? Why wouldn't he just demand the full amount?

My first guess was that Gawker may just not be able to pay the $140 million, but even in that case wouldn't Hogan still get the $31 million that Gawker is able to pay?

  • Did you read the article you linked? Several motivations are discussed within. Unclear why this asked here.
    – user662852
    Nov 2, 2016 at 19:33
  • @user662852 Hah... slightly ironic. I actually read a different article at first and then when writing this question googled for the first article I could find. I didn't realize the article I found had the info I was looking for. Nov 2, 2016 at 20:33

3 Answers 3


Because of the appeals process. By settling now he:

  1. Gets the money now rather than in 2-3 years when the appeal finishes
  2. Gets $31 million rather than whatever the appeals court decides (which may be considerably less)

Sometimes it's better to take a lesser amount than the judgment because the defendant can potentially declare bankruptcy and leave you with little or nothing, since you would not necessarily be the first in line to collect from liquidation of the defendant's assets.


There are two parts to getting money in a civil court case: (a) you must win the case. (b) you must force the other party to hand over the money.

If you won the case, but you think part (b) is difficult (like getting $140 million from someone who hasn't got it is a problem), then you take what you can get.

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