What effect would a racist statement against a person Y have on the potential damages award against a person X accused of making defamatory statements?
Scenario: A Florida Condo Director X running for the Board makes a remark to another person, a colleague running on the same slate about the 3 opposing candidates. He whispers conspiratorially to Y: "You know all 3 of these candidates are Jews".
Y responds: I know, and by the way, I happen to be a Jew also.
At which point Y tries to "walk back" his remarks by saying "All I meant is that Jews stick together".
Some months later X makes defamatory remarks to Z in an email about Y, to the effect that Y "took money without Board approval that should be returned by Y ".
The specific words of the defamation
have already been deemed by counsel sufficient to qualify as libel.
1. The money in question was a bonus given to the Condo Manager out of a Condo construction fund with the President and Treasurer agreeing it was appropriate. Assuming that the defamation is a given, does the racist remark create an "enhancement" of the potential damages?
2. Assuming the defamation is per se, what kind of damages might be awardable?
3. How much more, if any, would the racist remark enhance the damages.