Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk emerged victorious from a defamation trial as a federal court jury swiftly rejected the $190 million claim brought against him by a British cave explorer who Musk had branded a “pedo guy” on Twitter. The unanimous verdict by a jury of five women and three men was returned after roughly 45 minutes of deliberation on the fourth day of Musk’s trial. The case has been closely watched by legal experts because it is believed to be the first major defamation lawsuit by a private individual to go to trial over tweets. The outcome was a triumph for Musk, whose mercurial behavior in a number of instances last year came under close scrutiny from federal regulators and shareholders of Tesla, his Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer. L. Lin Wood, a high-profile trial lawyer who led the legal team for the plaintiff, Vernon Unsworth, said the jury’s decision signals a higher legal threshold for challenging libelous material on social media. “This verdict puts everyone’s reputation at risk,” Wood told reporters after the verdict was announced. Musk, 48, who had testified during the first two days of the trial in his own defense and returned to court on… Read full this story
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