Jury Says Elon Musk Not Guilty In Vernon Unsworth Defamation Case
Tesla’s boss, Elon Musk found not guilty in the defamation trial against Vernon Unsworth according to the jury. The verdict elicited opposing reactions from both parties as expected.
The case brought forward before the jury was if Musk calling Unsworth a ‘Pedo Guy’ qualified as defamation of character. And the members of the jury have answered ‘no’ on Friday, 6th December 2019.
This legal battle had been raging behind scenes. In fact, since the months after the successful rescue of the 13 people trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand. Its origin had been the scientist’s reply to the cave diver’s insinuation to the press.
As the jury found, Vernon Unsworth’s attorney had been focused on appealing to their emotions. This is as opposed to focusing on the evidence; the tweet. This, the foreman, Joshua Jones said may be why the jury decided they lost the case.
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Although, Musk and his attorney both conceded that the tweet must have hurt. It should not be viewed as a statement of fact. Rather, as a mere insult. SpaceX’s and Tesla’s CEO had apologized both via tweet and in person for the statement.
However, Mr Wood, Unsworth’s lawyer said that his client would accept only $190 million in damages. In his argument, he showed the court evidence of the reach of the insult. Besides Elon Musk’s large Twitter following, the insult was shown to have appeared in 490 English language articles and over 361 websites.
In reaction to the ‘Elon Musk not guilty’ verdict, Vernon Unsworth said he is unhappy with the decision. He also stated that it was not the kind of justice he had been looking for. But he finished his statement with:
“I respect the jury’s decision”.
His lawyers too voiced on the same line of reasoning. Lin Wood had called Elon Musk a liar and that the billionaire deserved a heavy slap on the wrist.
But the celebrity scientist, obviously happy to be free of the charges said:
“My hope in humanity is restored”.
Thus ends the case for now with the statement: ‘Elon Musk is not guilty’. Many reacted to the conclusion by hailing Vernon Unsworth for standing against what they deem bullying.
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