American Sniper on trial: The verdict

AmericanSniper I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation claim against the estate of Chris Kyle in the post American Sniper on trial.” I attended closing arguments in the case in federal district court in St. Paul this past Tuesday morning and am disappointed to report that, after declaring itself deadlocked yesterday, the jury returned with a verdict in favor of Jesse Ventura against the estate of Chris Kyle this afternoon.

The 10-person jury was unable to reach unanimity. With the consent of the parties, the jury returned an 8-2 verdict. As it turned out the jury awarded $500,000 on Ventura’s defamation claim and $1.345 million on Ventura’s unjust enrichment claim.

The unjust enrichment claim was predicated on the assertion that Kyle had misappropriated Ventura’s name for the success of the book. I thought the claim was thin at best and in fact had a hard time suppressing a laugh when Ventura’s lawyer asked for $15 million, $10 million, or $5 million (in that order) on the claim in his closing.

Given my closeness to my old friend and colleague John Borger, who represented the Kyle estate, and my antipathy toward Ventura, I will leave this report without further comment except this link to Twitchy.