Judge upholds $1.8M award in “American Sniper” defamation lawsuit

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — A federal judge has ruled as reasonable $1.8 million in damages awarded to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in a defamation case.

A federal jury last month sided with the former pro wrestler in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

The jury said “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle’s claim was false and defamatory. Jurors awarded $500,000 for damages and advised $1.3 million for “unjust enrichment,” or how much money Kyle improperly made from the claim.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Judge Richard Kyle upheld the jury’s enrichment figure Thursday, saying it’s “reasonable and supported by a preponderance of the evidence.”

 

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