Tesla CEO Elon Musk has failed to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed against him by an Indian-American student Randeep Hothi.
California judge Julia Spain rejected Musk’s argument that the lawsuit was baseless and should be thrown out as an attempt to silence the billionaire’s free speech.
In a complaint filed at the Alameda County Superior Court, Randeep Hothi, a University of Michigan graduate had accused Musk of triggering an online hate campaign against him.
Hothi drew Musk’s wrath two years ago due to a couple of incidents he claims were harmless. However, Musk called him a liar and complained about him to an online tech editor.
He was confronted by a security guard in February 2019 when he went to do research in Tesla’s sales centre in California. Two months later, he spotted a Tesla test car while driving and took its pictures, which he later posted online.
Elon Musk accused Hothi of almost killing Tesla employees when he was trying to drive away from the sales centre.
Musk had asked the judge to strike out the lawsuit on the basis of public interest, making it protected speech and that Hothi couldn’t prove that the statements were untrue or made out of malice.
But the judge refused to concede to his request emphasising that Hothi showed he could win the lawsuit.
Courtesy – Wionews