A federal court has ordered the $1.8 million verdict against late author, Chris Kyle, to be vacated and has ruled that only the defamation portion of the case to be re-tried in a district court.
Former Minnesota Governor, Jesse Ventura, filed a lawsuit against the former Navy SEAL and author of the book 'American Sniper' claiming he was defamed by statements made in the book that described an altercation between Kyle and Ventura in a California bar.
The former Governor testified that the statements had never been made and that the entire altercation was a falsehood. He went on to claim that the book had ruined his reputation in the SEAL community.
Ventura, who is also a former Navy SEAL/Underwater Demolition Team member, was awarded $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment by a Minnesota jury in 2014.
Kyle's wife, Taya Kyle, then appealed the judgement, requesting a new trial or that the verdict be thrown out entirely.
As reported by the Associated Press, The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday, June 13th, that the defamation portion of Ventura's case be sent back to District Court for a new trial, stating that the trial court "clearly abused its discretion in denying a new trial".
In addition, a three-judge appellate panel tossed out Ventura's award for "unjust enrichment" stating that the theory backing it "enjoys no legal support under Minnesota law" and therefore, fails as a lawful award.
The movie that was based on Kyle's book did not depict the incident described within, nor portray Jesse Ventura.
What do you think of the court's ruling in the case?
Watch the trailer from the hit movie based on Kyle's autobiography below.
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