Elon Musk failed in his attempt to have a defamation lawsuit against him fired. (Reuters: Shannon Stapleton)
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk will have to go to trial to defend himself by mocking a British diver as a "fart" in a verbal dispute that ensued after the underwater rescue of young football players trapped in a Thailand.
- Tesla's boss made the post after Vernon Unsworth declared his idea of mini-submarine as a "press coup"
- Mr. Unsworth is seeking $ 75,000 in billionaire damages
- Mr. Musk wanted the judge to reject his case because he believed that the insult was protected from legal action
A Los Angeles federal court judge set a trial date on Oct. 22 in a lawsuit that rejected Musk's bid to dismiss a defamation suit filed by British diver Vernon Unsworth.
Musk called Unsworth a "fart" in a July 15 post on his Twitter account after Unsworth, in an interview with CNN, dismissed Musk's attempts to help rescue the boys as a "public relations trick."
Unsworth also ridiculed the submarine that Musk had built for a rescue mission, prompting Musk to counter-attack through his Twitter account which had 22.5 million followers at the time.
Musk said his insult was protected from legal action, but the judge overseeing the case disagreed.
Unsworth is seeking more than $ 75,000 ($ 107,153) in compensation from Mr. Musk, a billionaire.
The lawsuit also calls for a court order prohibiting Mr. Musk from making further disparaging remarks.
This is the second time in less than a year that Mr. Musk's comments on Twitter overburden him with legal headaches.
Last year Musk and Tesla reached a $ 40 million deal on allegations that he tricked investors with a tweet stating that he had secured financing for the purchase of the electric car maker.
He then had to go to court earlier this year to defend himself against claims that he had breached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on his tweet.
courts and judgments,