Tesla shareholders argued it would be unfair to move testing to Texas as requested by Billionaire Elon Musk, who angered many in northern California with job cuts at Twitter, the San Francisco company he bought in October.
“What they refer to as ‘biased’ coverage is, in fact, factual reporting about their management of Twitter, and has no bearing on the jury’s ability to render an impartial verdict,” the court filing by the shareholders said.
Elon Musk’s lawyers requested on January 6 that federal judges delay or move the trial to Texas because of media coverage of Twitter’s job cuts, which was “inflammatory” compared to balanced reporting on layoffs at other companies in the city, such as Lyft.
The trial is scheduled to begin on January 17 and feature testimony from Elon about his behind-the-scenes efforts in 2018 to secure financing to buy the electric vehicle maker.
The judge will hear arguments on the requested change of venue on Friday.
Shareholders have accused Elon Musk of causing billions of dollars in losses to investors by making false and misleading statements to artificially inflate the share price.
Elon tweeted in August 2018 that he had “funds secured” to take Tesla private, triggering 10 days of volatile trading in its stock shares, bonds, and options.
According to court filings, Elon Musk had met with Yasir al-Rumayyan, managing director of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, on several occasions, which also said that al-Rumayyan urged Musk to take Tesla private and had offered up to $60 billion (roughly Rs. 4,90,290 crore) in support.
Al-Rumayyan is among the witnesses expected to testify, along with Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison and James Murdoch, son of Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch, according to court filings.
US District Court Judge Edward Chen determined in May that the 2018 tweets were untrue and reckless.
The jury will determine whether the statements actually affected Tesla’s stock prices, whether Elon acted knowingly, and whether to award damages and in what amount.
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Information Source: https://www.gadgets360.com/transportation/news/tesla-elon-musk-shareholder-lawsuit-funding-secured-california-court-3685518