Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk was found not liable on Friday in a federal trial in San Francisco over his “funding secured” and other tweets in 2018. Musk testified last week he considered the tweets around his idea of taking Tesla
private his way of “doing the right thing” for all Tesla shareholders.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled earlier that Musk’s tweets about taking Tesla private were not true and that Musk acted with recklessness. It was still up to jurors to decide, however, if the tweets were material to investors and if the falsehoods caused investor losses. Jurors in the three-week long trial also heard from other Tesla current and previous executives as well as board members. The trial had some humorous moments, as when a plaintiff’s attorney called Musk “Mr. Tweet.” Tesla shares rose 1.6% in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day up 0.9%. The stock has lost 36% in the past 12 months, compared with losses of around 8% for the S&P 500 index.