(Reuters) – Elon Musk will not be subjected to a “gag order” preventing him from discussing a lawsuit alleging that he deceived Tesla Inc. shareholders by tweeting 2018 about taking his electric car business private, a federal judge ruled Wednesdays.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco agreed with Mr. Musk and Tesla that the proposed temporary restraining order seemed overarching because it prevented Musk from talking to “anyone” about the case.
Chen also found no evidence that letting Mr Musk, the world’s richest man, according to Forbes, speak in public posed a “clear and current danger” or “serious and imminent threat”; to a trial.
But the judge also said he plans to tell jurors at the scheduled trial in January 2023 that he had already ruled that Musk’s tweets were false and that with sufficient knowledge they were false.
Shareholders sued for losses due to volatility in Tesla’s shares after Musk tweeted on August 7, 2018 that he had “financed” to potentially take Tesla private for $ 420 per share, and that “investor support has been confirmed”.
Nicholas Porritt, a shareholders’ lawyer, said in an email that he was pleased that jurors would be instructed that the tweets “were fake and made fraudulent by Elon Musk.” He said the primary remaining issue is the size of the damages.
Lawyers for Mr. Musk and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.