On Tuesday this week, Vernon Unsworth took Elon Musk to court seeking $190 million in damages because Musk called him “pedo guy” publicly on Twitter. The jury, based in Los Angeles, decided that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was not guilty of causes damages. The jurors were able to reach a unanimous decision in less than one hour following the four-day trial.
Commenting on the jury’s decision, Unsworth said:
“I respect the jury’s decision. I’d just like to say my legal team have been absolutely awesome. I came here for a verdict, unfortunately it’s not gone the way I expected but I respect the jury’s decision and thank them for that.”
Meanwhile, Elon Musk just said that his “faith in humanity is restored.”
Musk’s defence was based around something his legal team called “JDART” which simply means a Joke was badly received, it was Deleted, and Apology was given, and then Responsive Tweets were issued to move on from the matter. According to his lawyer, Alex Spiro, the fact that Musk back-peddled on the Tweet shows he wasn’t being serious.
Commenting on the matter in court, Vernon Unsworth said that he felt humiliated by the comments and that it was like receiving “a life sentence without parole”; those at the trial said he was on the verge of tears while addressing the court.
According to the BBC, the whole concept of JDART will likely be applied in further cases where social media behaviour is under examination.