New York, 7 Jan. Lawyers for electric vehicle company Tesla and its chief executive, Elon Musk, have asked a federal judge to move or delay a trial from California to Texas, arguing impartial juries cannot be found due to “local negativity “what’s in that state towards Musk.
Musk and several Tesla board members will face a popular jury this year in a shareholder class action claiming the chief executive officer manipulated Tesla’s stock in 2018 when he tweeted that he was considering taking his electric vehicle company private.
Then, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affirmed that the information disseminated in the tweet was “false and misleading”, fined Musk and Tesla with 20 million dollars and, in addition, forced Musk to leave the presidency of Tesla for three years.
An upcoming trial this year will determine whether and how those Musk tweets affected Tesla’s stock price, and whether the company or its directors should be held liable and pay damages.
In a motion to transfer the seat filed this week, lawyers representing the company and the mogul argue that Musk has been widely criticized in California after he bought Twitter in October last year.
Following the purchase of the social network, Musk named himself CEO of Twitter and carried out massive layoffs at the California-based company.
“Local negativity towards Musk is not limited to the press. There are regular protests and pickets in front of Musk’s offices in San Francisco,” the lawyers detailed in the document presented this Friday.
Musk was booed last December after comedian Dave Chappelle invited him up on stage at one of his performances in San Francisco, California.
In 2018 Musk resided in California and Tesla was headquartered in the Californian city of Palo Alto.
However, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX moved to Texas in 2020 and his electric vehicle company moved its headquarters to Austin, Texas in 2021. EFE