Attorneys for Chris Kyle’s estate are asking a judge to throw out a defamation verdict and $1.8 million award in the late Navy SEAL-turned-author’s legal battle against Jesse Ventura — or send the matter back for a new trial.
In court filings Thursday, they argued that the former Minnesota governor didn’t meet the high bar of proof for defamation of a public figure. The judge failed to steer the jury away from an erroneous decision, they said, and the award’s dollar amount was pulled from thin air.
The Kyle estate is seeking to reverse a verdict issued in July that found the author defamed Ventura in Kyle’s best-selling autobiography “American Sniper.”[...]
The testimony laid out in trial fell short of that burden, Kyle’s attorneys argued. Outside of Ventura and Kyle, 11 witnesses said they heard or saw parts of Kyle’s story unfold. Three from Ventura’s side said they were with him and didn’t see a fight.
“The testimony at trial overwhelming established that Ventura made offensive, anti-military statements” at the wake, Kyle’s attorneys wrote — including the statement that “SEALs deserve to lose a few” in the war in Iraq.