Yesterday we announced that former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura had won his defamation case against Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He was awarded $1.8 million dollars, after claims made in Kyle’s book caused him a loss of respect and income.
Kyle wrote in his 2012 best seller that he had engaged in a bar fight with a man who allegedly said that the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.” Kyle later revealed that the man who had made that comment was Ventura.
While Ventura said that Kyle’s claims were false, Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death that his story was entirely true. This led to the jury being unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
For reasons which we can only speculate on at this point, attorneys for both sides decided to accept a verdict if only 8 of the 10 jurors agreed. Under these stipulations, they came to a conclusion in favor of Ventura.
Ventura’s attorney, David Olsen, made a statement to the media about an hour after the verdict was heard. Although Ventura mentioned that he was grateful to the jury for the verdict, Olsen remarked:
“There are no winners in the trial. It is a victory that the jury did tell the world that this was a lie. This was a fabrication.”
Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, was understandably upset when she heard the jury’s decision. Reports are saying that she plans to file an appeal. While the financial blow was undoubtedly hard to swallow for her, the thought of a jury ruling that her fallen husband was a liar was probably the most devastating outcome of this decision.
What’s your take on this legal case? Do you think Kyle’s widow stands a chance at winning an appeal? Sound off in the comments section!