Elon Musk has asked a federal judge to relocate a shareholder lawsuit trial from San Francisco to Texas, Tesla’s headquarters, claiming that negative local media coverage has prejudiced potential jurors against him.
He wants the lawsuit accusing him of causing volatility in Tesla’s share price after claiming he had enough financing to take the company private to be heard in Texas. If the trial is not moved to Texas, the lawyers believe it should be postponed until the negative media coverage surrounding Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter subsides.
Musk’s legal team claims that a sizable portion of the potential jury pool in San Francisco is biased against Musk as a result of recent media coverage condemning his actions as Twitter head. “For the last several months, the local media have saturated this district with biased and negative stories about Mr. Musk,” attorney Alex Spiro wrote in a court filing Friday.
Musk made “false and misleading” statements in 2018 when he said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, according to the lawsuit. Musk’s now-famous “funding secured” tweet landed him in hot water with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, resulting in a $40 million settlement.
The shareholders’ attorneys emphasized the request’s last-minute nature, saying, “Musk’s concerns are unfounded and his motion is meritless.”
The sources for this piece include an article in Axios.