Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura has had his defamation case against “American Sniper” – and American hero – Chris Kyle, die at the United States Supreme Court.
Kyle was the great American sniper depicted in the movie “American Sniper,” who was tragically shot and killed in 2013 at a shooting range by a former American soldier with PTSD.
Ventura had initially won his case with a lower Minnesota court, which awarded him $1.8 million in damages from the estate of Chris Kyle. However, that verdict was overturned by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The $1.8 million in damages awarded Ventura by the trial court was comprised of $1.3 million for unjust enrichment and another half million for defamation, but the Appeals Court overturned the lower court order, determining that there was no Minnesota legal precedent.
The former governor’s lawsuit was based on an accusation that the Chris Kyle autobiography included a false claim by Kyle that he had once punched Ventura in a bar when the latter had made unflattering comments about the Navy SEALs.
The former SEAL Ventura believes that this episode never happened, and that the story resulted in a damaged reputation amongst that elite fighting group.
The United States Supreme Court has discretion on what cases it chooses to hear, and it declined to consider Ventura’s appeal, thus leaving the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision standing.
Ventura back third party candidate Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential election. The former governor and wrestler has promised to continue his fight for damages against the Chris Kyle Estate. It looks like he is again backing a losing cause.