Elon Musk has asked a federal judge to move his upcoming trial of Tesla shareholders out of San Francisco. Per the , the billionaire’s personal lawyer, filed the request on Friday evening, less than two weeks before the start of the trial scheduled for January 17. Musk’s legal team argues that “a substantial portion” of the potential jury pool in San Francisco is likely to be biased against Musk due to recent media coverage criticizing his actions on Twitter and the . Musk asked to move the trial to Texas, which has been home to Tesla’s headquarters since late 2021.
The class action lawsuit involves “false and misleading” statements Musk made in 2018 when he said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share. Musk is now infamous”tweet landed the billionaire in trouble with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, ultimately leading to one with the agency. Shareholders involved in the lawsuit scored an early victory last spring when federal judge Edward Chen found that Musk had “recklessly made the statements knowing they were false.” The upcoming lawsuit will determine whether Musk’s tweet affected the automaker’s stock price and whether it should be held liable for potential damages.
“Musk’s concerns are unfounded and his claim is without merit,” Nicholas Porritt, one of the attorneys representing Tesla shareholders, told The Associated Press. “The Northern District of California is the appropriate location for this lawsuit and where it has been actively litigated for more than four years.” On Saturday, Judge Chen told both sides that he would hear Musk’s request on January 13.
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