Jury acquits Elon Musk in class action lawsuit over Tesla’s tweet: ‘The wisdom of the people has prevailed! A jury has acquitted Elon Musk in a trial accusing him of misleading investors through tweets that claimed he received financial backing to take Tesla private.
Lawyers for some investors argued that the tweets were misleading and cost them billions of dollars. A jury disagreed and acquitted Musk after less than two hours of deliberation. Elon Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018, that he has secured funding to take the high-tech company private.
The company’s stock soared the following week, but the deal failed, leading to a class action lawsuit against the tech billionaire. At stake was potentially billions of dollars in damage. Nicolas Porritt, an attorney for Tesla shareholders, argued that after a brief meeting with Yasser Al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Wealth Fund, Musk could not have seriously believed he secured the funding for the deal.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Apparently a $60 billion financial commitment had been received and no one had written a word, Porritt argued. Elon Musk clearly thinks billion-dollar financing is easier to obtain than auto loans or mortgages. Elon Musk testified in his own defense at the trial. Elon Musk said, ‘I had no ulterior motive. My intention was to do the right thing for all shareholders.”
Elon Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, reiterated the point in his closing argument, despite acknowledging that the tweets were technically incorrect. Spiro said he was trying to contain the retail shareholder, the mom and pop, the little guy, and not seize more power for himself.
Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!
I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 3, 2023
US District Judge Edward Chen told jurors to consider the trial with the understanding that the tweets were false. After the test was over, Musk posted another tweet expressing his gratitude. Thanks, the wisdom of the people wins! he tweeted. That said, I deeply appreciate the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 Tech-Pvt case.