Jesse Ventura's $1.8M award tossed out in 'American Sniper' case
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
By Randy Furst
Published: June 13, 2016
MINNEAPOLIS — The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday overturned a jury’s decision to award $1.8 million to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in a 2014 defamation case.
A three-judge panel threw out the $1.35 million awarded to Ventura for “unjust enrichment,” saying Minnesota law did not allow a payout in this type of case; and it reversed the $500,000 award for defamation, remanding the case to the district court for a new defamation trial.
The decision was a major victory for the estate of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who wrote the bestselling memoir that Ventura said defamed him. It was also a victory for news organizations, many of whom filed a brief in support of Kyle’s estate, urging that the verdict be thrown out.
It was a serious blow to Ventura, the former professional wrestler, who served as governor from 1999 to 2003.
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