Elon Musk is exonerated for tweeting in 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private for $420 per share.
Following a weeks-long trial in San Francisco, a jury determined that Musk was not liable for Tesla investors’ losses.
The verdict is a significant victory for Musk, who could have faced billions of dollars in damages.
Musk testified in federal court that simply tweeting something “does not mean people believe it or will act accordingly.” He also claimed that he could have used his SpaceX stock to fund the transaction.
The shareholders who filed the class action suit claimed that Musk’s statements about funding were false and that they lost a large amount of money as a result of stock fluctuations following Musk’s tweets.
However, while the judge in the case concluded that Musk’s tweets were “objectively false and reckless,” the jury did not conclude that he had purposefully misled the public.
In a statement to Bloomberg following the verdict, Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, said “the jury got it right.” Musk also weighed in — naturally, via tweet — saying he was “deeply appreciative.”
Taking to Twitter, Elon Must wrote after the ruling:
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