A lawsuit that involves a sniper, defamation, and a person who called himself “Jesse ‘the body’ Ventura”, makes for good blog material.
The lawsuit resulted in a $1.3 million plus $500 defamation jury verdict that was awarded to Jesse Ventura. Ventura, a former professional wrestler who also served as the governor of Minnesota, had claimed that he was defamed by Navy Seal Chris Kyle. (Star-Tribune.com)
The lawsuit arose out of an alleged altercation between Chris Kyle and Ventura. According to the book American Sniper, a memoir written by former Navy Seal Chris Kyle, Kyle claimed he punched a man named “Scruff Face” for disparaging the war in Iraq and saying the SEALs “deserve to lose a few.” Later, Kyle identified “Scruff Face” as Ventura.
I think Ventura was bothered by Kyle’s claims of Ventura’s statements, as well as the claim that Kyle punched him.
Ventura, whose real name is James George Janos, claims that the incident never happened, according to the Star Tribune. The federal jury in Ventura’s case came back with a 1.35 million verdict for unjust enrichment and $500,000 for defamation.
As told in the movie American Sniper, Kyle was later killed on a firing range. His wife appealed the Ventura verdict and it has now been set aside by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The unjust enrichment claim was set aside as contrary to Minnesota law and the $500k defamation verdict was overturned because the judge had allowed evidence of insurance during the trial.
For now, Ventura has not decided whether to appeal. “It is going to be back to the drawing board as to whether Ventura wants to go through this again,” said Jane Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota.
And for pic o’ day, when this was sent to me, the song reference cracked me up: