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Court Overturns Verdict In ‘American Sniper’ Defamation Case
On June 13, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a jury’s decision to award Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in damages following a 2014 defamation case between Ventura and the estate of Chris Kyle, reports the Associated Press.
The late Kyle was a former Navy SEAL and regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history.
In his book, “American Sniper,” Kyle described a fight between himself and Ventura at a California bar in 2006, and accused the former Minnesota governor of making offensive comments about Navy SEALs, including a line about how they "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq.
Kyle, who was killed by a troubled fellow veteran on a shooting range in 2013, gave sworn videotaped testimony before his death that the story was true.
Ventura, a Navy veteran and former SEAL himself, testified that the altercation never happened and that the chapter ruined his reputation among the tight-knit community, when he sued for defamation in 2014.
A jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle appealed, asking that the verdict be thrown out and a new trial ordered on First Amendment grounds.
During the recent ruling, a three-judge panel unanimously reversed the unjust enrichment award, saying the theory of unjust enrichment did not apply in this case. For unjust enrichment to apply, Ventura would have had to establish that he had at a “preexisting contractual or quasi-contractual relationship with Kyle,” reports the Star Tribune.
In a 2-1 decision, the judges also reversed the $500,000 defamation award, and remanded the case to the district court for a new defamation trial.
Two of the three judges found Ventura’s attorneys improperly let the jury hear that the book’s publisher Harper Collins had an insurance policy to cover a defamation award and attorney fees.
"From our review, these unsupported, improper, and prejudicial statements were not heat of the moment argument, but were strategic and calculated," the judges wrote, noted the Associated Press.
Jurors would be less hesitant to issue a substantial defamation award if they knew Tara Kyle was covered by an insurance policy, said the appellate court according to the Star Tribune.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of sending explosive ordnance disposal units on shorter and possibly more frequent deployments, service officials said on Wednesday.
Right now, EOD techs train for 18 months and deploy for another six months as part of their optimized fleet response plan, but the Navy is conducting a review of that training and deployment cycle, Navy officials told reporters.
A Navy analysis is looking at whether EOD techs should spend a total of 32 or 36 months training and deployed per cycle, said Capt. Oscar Rojas, who leads Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 in San Diego.