The Eighth U.S. Circuit of Appeals delivered another defeat to Jesse Ventura on Tuesday, refusing to reconsider its decision to toss out the $1.8 million defamation verdict awarded the former Minnesota governor by a federal jury in St. Paul in 2014.
The ruling rejected a request that the entire 10-judge Appeals Court rehear the case. It also rejected a request by Ventura’s attorney to have the three-judge appeals panel that initially ruled against Ventura rehear the decision.
The three-judge panel ruled in June that the jury improperly awarded Ventura $1.3 million for “unjust enrichment,” concluding it was a misapplication of Minnesota law.
The jury also awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation, but the Eighth Circuit voided that award because it said his attorney, David B. Olsen, made improper statements at trial and in his closing argument.
The Eighth Circuit sent the defamation portion of the case back to the U.S. District Court in Minnesota where Ventura has the option to seek a retrial.
Ventura sued the estate of the late U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who wrote a bestselling book “American Sniper.” Kyle claimed in the book that Ventura made objectionable remarks at a California bar, leading Kyle to punch him.
Ventura denied the incident happened, and in July 2014 a jury agreed. Taya Kyle, Chris Kyle’s widow, appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit.