Ready for a little good news?
I’ll admit, this one made my day, and possibly, my whole week.
Remember the slithering scumbag that was once governor of Minnesota, who sued the widow of “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle?
Yeah. Jesse Ventura. That scumbag.
He was awarded $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Taya Kyle, Chris’ widow, filed an appeal, seeking to have the case thrown out on First Amendment grounds, and asked for a new trial.
Now, it appears sanity has prevailed. From Fox News:
A federal appeals court on Monday threw out $1.8 million in damages awarded to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who said he was defamed by the late author Chris Kyle in the bestselling book “American Sniper.”
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also sent a portion of the case — Ventura’s defamation claim — back to the district court for a new trial, saying Ventura’s attorneys made improper remarks and the trial court “clearly abused its discretion in denying a new trial.”
The case was brought due to a story included in Chris Kyle’s bestselling book, “American Sniper,” in which he describes an encounter with someone he called “Scruff Face” in a California bar in 2006. “Scruff Face” is believed to be Ventura, and if even an ounce of the story Kyle recounted was true, Ventura deserved to be knocked out.
As the story went, Scruff Face/Ventura, was loudly berating SEALs, and even said the SEALs deserved to “lose a few” while involved in the Iraq war. Kyle, hearing the talk and aware that there were SEALs or family and friends of fallen warriors present, deservedly punched Scruff Face, and then took off before the police arrived.
Before he was tragically killed by a fellow vet he’d been trying to help in 2013, Kyle gave sworn testimony on video that everything in his story was true.
In Monday’s ruling, a three-judge appellate panel reversed the unjust-enrichment award, saying the theory of unjust-enrichment “enjoys no legal support under Minnesota law” and fails as a matter of law.
The majority of the judges also vacated the defamation award and sent that portion of the case back to court for a new trial.
The majority found that Ventura’s attorneys improperly let the jury hear that publisher HarperCollins had an insurance policy to cover a defamation award and attorney fees. The majority said those comments prevented Kyle’s estate from receiving a fair trial and that Ventura’s attorneys deliberately referenced a “deep-pocket insurer” to try to influence the jury and enhance damages.
Chris Kyle, with 160 confirmed kills, is considered the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.