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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Elon Musk not liable in lawsuit over tweets pledging to take Tesla private, jury rules

Elon Musk not liable in lawsuit over tweets pledging to take Tesla private, jury rules

A jury ruled that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is not financially liable for potential damages stemming from a 2018 tweet stating that he had funding to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

The San Francisco jury found musk not liable for all statements and tweets that he made about the funding.

Investors filed the lawsuit after a series of tweets by Musk saying he had enough financing to take Tesla public at $420 per share. Musk attempted to have the trial moved from California to what he thought might be the more friendly confines of Texas, but that motion was denied.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures during the Tesla China-made Model 3 Delivery Ceremony in Shanghai on Jan. 7, 2020.

During testimony in the trial on Jan. 20, Musk denied his tweets had any impact on Tesla's stock price.

"I think you’re linking things on Twitter to as the stock prices when they’re not linked," Musk said. "That’s why I gave the example, even if I say on Twitter that I think the stock price is too high, the stock price still goes higher."

Tesla's stock price is down nearly 40% over the last 12 months but has rebounded recently, up 75% to the start of the year. The stock closed at $189.89 to end the week.
Photo illustration of Elon Musk in front of Tesla logo


Before the investor lawsuit, Musk settled securities fraud charges with the SEC over similar tweets about taking Tesla private, "without admitting or denying" the allegations, though the company did have to put procedures in place to oversee his communications and pay $40 million in fines.

The volatility in Tesla's stock price caused Musk to lose nearly $200 billion in net worth since November 2021, but gained an astounding $12 billion of net worth in one week when the stock price began to rebound at the start of 2023.

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