A lot of what’s counted as wealth these days will simply vanish when collapse sets in. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
File this one away under ‘completely ridiculous’.
You might have heard that Elon Musk was on trial last week in Los Angeles; he was being sued because he claimed (multiple times) that British spelunker Vernon Unsworth was a pedophile. (He’s not.)
It’s generally damaging to one’s reputation when a world-famous billionaire erroneously calls you one of the worst things anyone could possibly be. So Unsworth sued for defamation.
Defamation in the United States is actually quite difficult to prove.
In order to win a defamation case in the US, the claimant has to demonstrate that you knowingly said something false, or that you completely disregarded whether or not something was false.
It’s pretty clear that Musk knew his comments were false; he acknowledged that Unsworth is not a pedophile.
But winning a defamation case in the US also requires proving that Musk had the deliberate intent to harm Unsworth’s reputation. And that’s tough to do.
You can bet that Nicolas Sandmann, the high student in the infamous video, had lawyers lined up around the block to work on contingency for this suit. It was filed in US District Court in Kentucky, and Sandmann’s odds of at worst a big settlement look pretty good. The Post’s lawyers would be fools to let this go to a jury trial. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
After an investigation conducted by the Covington Diocese turned up no evidence that 16-year-old high school student Nicholas Sandmann confronted Native American activist Nathan Phillips during a March for Life rally at the Lincoln Memorial last month, seemingly confirming that the mainstream press was incorrect to pillory the white, MAGA-hat wearing teen for a confrontation that never actually happened, lawyers for Sandmann filed the first of what are expected to be many defamation lawsuits demanding compensatory and punitive damages for leading an Internet mob that villified Sandmann and his peers.
According to Reuters, lawyers Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry are seeking $250 million in damages from the Washington Post on behalf of Sandmann, a sum equal to the amount that billionaire Jeff Bezos paid to buy the paper in 2013.
The suit claims that the paper – which helped publicize a now infamous photo that helped trigger an Internet mob that swiftly outed the teen and demanded he be punished – led the hate campaign against Sandmann – and failed to practice proper journalistic due diligence – “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C. when he was unexpectedly and suddenly confronted by Nathan Phillips (‘Phillips’), a known Native American activist, who beat a drum and sang loudly within inches of his face (‘the January 18 incident’).”