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AMERICAN JUSTICE IS STRANGE

By Pete Moore On December 7th, 2019

Elon Musk did not defame a British caver who helped in last year’s rescue of trapped Thai schoolboys by calling him a “pedo guy”, a US jury has found.

Musk was clearly describing Vernon Unsworth, the diver. Everyone who saw the news at the time was aware of it. Musk followed up by describing Unsworth as a “child rapist” to a Buzzfeed reporter. The jury decided that Musk could have been talking about anyone. I’m all for free speech, but defaming someone in public ought to have consequences.

However those consequences don’t stretch to $190m, which is what Unsworth’s lawyers were pushing for in damages. Are they on a commission over there? An apology and retraction, in a pinned tweet, would have been sufficient.

12 Responses to “AMERICAN JUSTICE IS STRANGE”

  1. did the judge not have leeway to agree a defamation and reduce the consequences?
    dunno how it works over there, common sense says they should be separate judgments

  2. did the judge not have leeway to agree a defamation and reduce the consequences?
    dunno how it works over there, common sense says they should be separate judgments

  3. The US legal system is a mess

    Very many Americans try hard to avoid jury service, those who do serve are largely idiots

    The world famous Musk intentionally defamed that relatively unknown man. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

    What they penalty should be is up for debate.

  4. I agree with everything in your 7.03 Phantom.

  5. I was genuinely shocked to hear of this result.

    The US civil justice system is becoming increasingly erratic.

    There are many unctuous platitudes spoken by lawyers here of the wisdom of the jury system etc, it’s complete nonsense.

  6. This was clearly a “home team” verdict. The damages claim figure was irrelevant, they could have found in favour of the plaintiff and reduced the award to $10,000.

    But the case has highlighted yet again the undeniable fact that Musk is a very nasty piece of work. And that the super-rich are often above the law and can act with impunity, even in the USA.

  7. American Justice…best justice money can buy. Almost as daft as ours.

  8. This wasn’t really a case of justice being bought

    This was a case that was brought before a jury of supposedly average people

    The jurors appear to have been exceptionally stupid and unthinking people

    Money didn’t do that

    This is a problem much deeper than money

  9. Good post. I agree.

    The compensation sum was ridiculous. Alarm really should have apologised for his comments. I like Elon, but I’ve noticed he can sometimes acting a really childish way.

  10. It’s an absurd judgement. If calling someone a ‘Pedo’ and clearly indicating his interest in rescuing the boys was sexual is not an act of defamation then I don’t know what is. Perhaps the stupid jury should all be named and branded as paedophiles themselves, after all surely they wouldn’t complain. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with such allegations !

  11. A case of celebrity, wealth & influence blinding justice?

  12. Musk defamed him and should pay a penalty. This verdict was a travesty. There is too much Musk adoration. He has some good ideas but some flops also. And, his personal demeanor is less than ideal.