Journal Hit with $222.7 Million Penalty

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HOUSTON: A federal jury ordered the Wall Street Journal to pay $222.7 million Wednesday for libeling a now defunct brokerage. The fine, the largest libel award ever handed down, stemmed from an article written by Journal reporter Laura Jareski that Money Management Analytical Research of Houston claimed contained false information and helped put it out of business. The seven person jury ordered Dow Jones & Co. which publishes the Journal, and Jareski to pay $22.7 million in actual damages, plus $200 million in punitive damages. A lawyer for Dow Jones said he would ask U.S District Judge Ewing Werlein to throw out the decision.