A federal judge in California rejected a request from shareholders to stop Elon Musk from discussing a lawsuit claiming he had defrauded them after tweeting in 2018 that he intended to make Tesla a private company.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco gave the ruling just hours after Musk’s lawyer filed a document in the case saying the restraining order would trample on the Tesla CEO’s free speech.
Chen found that letting Musk talk publicly did not pose a “clear and present danger” or “serious and imminent threat” to the lawsuit’s trial, which would come on Jan. 17, 2023, as lawyers of the shareholders have argued.
The judge added that he has ruled that Musk’s 2018 tweets about having the money to make Tesla private at $420 per share were false, and that he plans to tell this to jurors at the scheduled trial.
A lawyer for the shareholders said that he was pleased that jurors will be informed of the false tweet, adding that the remaining issue is the amount of damages owed from the “fraudulent” 2018 tweets.
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