I hope you didn’t spend any of the money there, Governor!
Finally, a court got something right, there should never have been a lawsuit to begin with, Ventura is a small man! Ventura lost more $1.8million in good-will with the American public for this suit. It amounted to a suit against Kyle’s wife and heirs, people who had nothing to do with the book.
From Fox News:
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also sent a portion of the case — Ventura’s defamation claim — back to the district court for a new trial, saying Ventura’s attorneys made improper remarks and the trial court “clearly abused its discretion in denying a new trial.”
Messages left with Ventura, his publicist and his attorney were not immediately returned Monday. An attorney for Kyle’s estate had no comment and referred questions to publisher HarperCollins, which said it was reviewing the opinion and had no comment at this time.
Kyle is a former SEAL regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills. In his book “American Sniper,” he wrote a subchapter called “Punching Out Scruff Face” in which he describes decking Ventura at a California bar in 2006 after Ventura made offensive comments about SEALs, including that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq.
Ventura, a former Underwater Demolition Teams/SEAL member and ex-pro wrestler, sued. He testified at trial that he never made the statements and that the confrontation never happened. He also said the book ruined his reputation in the tight-knit SEAL community.
Kyle, who was killed on a shooting range in 2013 by a troubled fellow veteran, gave sworn videotaped testimony before his death that his story was true. The case proceeded against his estate.
1st the 1.3 million was reversed and permanently tossed out because there is no cause of action that has ever been recognized for “unjust enrichment” for an alleged defamatory statement.
2nd the defamation verdict was reversed and sent back for retrial because the trial judge used the wrong standard for defamation of a public figure (Ventura). The jury has to find that it was either intentional or with knowing disregard for the truth or falsity of the statement.
3rd It is improper almost everywhere for the judge to allow the jury to hear that there was insurance coverage for a claim (here defamation). That automatically results in a mistrial. It’s grossly improper.
This reversal wasn’t even a close call.
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