Tesla CEO Elon Musk was found not liable in a case where investors sought to recover losses after he Tweeted that he had secured the necessary funding to take the automaker’s stock private in 2018.
Investors sued Musk, Tesla, and the company’s board, claiming that the CEO’s communications on social media network Twitter had cost them substantial amounts of money after he had Tweeted that he was thinking of taking Tesla shares private at $420. “Funding secured,” the August 7, 2018, Tweet read.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
However, a jury unanimously decided that Musk was not responsible for any financial damages the investors incurred. The group of jurors had said the plaintiffs had failed to prove any of their claims against Musk.
“Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!” Musk Tweeted around 6:30 EST on Friday night, after the conclusion of the trial. “I am deeply appreciative of the jury’s unanimous finding of innocence in the Tesla 420 take-private case.”
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
The jury’s decision ends a three-week-long trial, and the panel of nine people — seven men and two women, according to the New York Times, deliberated for roughly one hour before Musk was found not liable for the investors’ financial losses.
Musk and Tesla could have been stuck with billions of dollars in penalties, and although U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen had even said last year during pre-trial hearings that Musk’s communications were reckless, the jury found that Musk should not be held liable for the financial losses incurred by the plaintiffs.
Lawyer for the plaintiffs, Nicholas Porritt, stated, “We are disappointed with the verdict and considering next steps.”
The decision is a huge step forward for Musk and Tesla, who have big plans for 2023. The company is planning to launch its most anticipated vehicle, the Cybertruck, over the Summer and could be committing to yet another Gigafactory production facility in the coming months.
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