# Elon Musk Found Not Liable for Losses Tesla Investors Suffered After Tweet

In 2018, Elon Musk posted on Twitter that he would take Tesla, the electric vehicle company, private. But the $72 billion deal never took place, and shareholders subsequently accused Musk of misleading them. On Friday, a jury ruled that Musk was not liable for any losses Tesla investors suffered as a result of his tweet. Read on to learn more about the verdict and why it defied the odds.

## Judge Rules Musk’s Words ‘Not True’

Two posts by Musk from August 2018 sent Tesla stock soaring. In one, Musk wrote, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” He followed that with, “Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote.” Three weeks later, the stock plummeted because the deal never happened. Judge Edward Chen, who was hearing the civil suit, had ruled that the words “funding secured” in the first post and Musk’s entire second post were not true, and that Musk was reckless when he posted them.

## Jury Deliberates for Less Than Two Hours

The San Francisco jury deliberated for less than two hours before reading their verdict. Adam C. Pritchard, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said Musk’s win defied the odds. “I thought he was crazy to try his chances at trial, given the stakes involved. … You’re fighting with one hand behind your back in that situation — and yet he won,” he said. After the verdict, as jurors answered questions from lawyers for the defeated plaintiffs, one juror said their case never connected.

## Plaintiffs Contend Tesla Was Nowhere Near Going Private

The investors contended Tesla was nowhere near going private. “This case is about whether rules that apply to everybody else should apply to Elon Musk,” Porritt said during the trial. Musk’s legal team said the truth was a defense because Musk was in fact considering taking the company private. Musk said he thought funding from a Saudi Arabian fund would materialize, but it did not.

## Musk and Tesla Pay $40 Million in Fines

Musk and Tesla eventually paid $40 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission over the tweets about the plan to take Tesla private. That settlement gave rise to a requirement Musk is trying to remove in which a lawyer reviews certain statements about Tesla before Musk posts them.

## ‘Thank Goodness, the Wisdom of the People Has Prevailed!’

“Thank goodness, the wisdom of the people has prevailed!” Musk tweeted after the verdict. Nicholas Porritt, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, was less upbeat. “We are disappointed with the verdict and considering next steps,” he said.

The jury’s decision in this case was a surprise, but it goes to show that the wisdom of the people can prevail. The verdict was a huge win for Musk and Tesla, and the outcome of this case will have an impact on future cases involving social media posts.

Source: ijr.com