However, Judge Chen hasn’t sided with investors in other parts of his case, and that could pave the way for a victory for Musk. Legal experts said the plaintiffs would have to prove that the lost money in Tesla stock was related to a statement by Musk that the court found false, such as a claim that he obtained financing.
Musk could prevail if the jury finds that other statements he made were true and that those statements caused Tesla stock to move.
In court documents, his attorneys cited statements they say fit that description. For example, one of Musk’s lawyers, Alex Spiro, claimed that the move in Tesla’s stock may have been due to his “indisputably correct” statement that he was “considering taking Tesla private.”
“Any ordinary defendant can solve this case,” said Mr. Pritchard, “but you have something worth trying.”
Tesla, Musk and Spiro did not respond to requests for comment.
While Musk has always had trouble proving he has the financing to take Tesla private, he can present new evidence and testimony in court to support him. He confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has agreed to provide the financing.
Text messages between Misk and Yasser al-Rumayyan, who oversees Saudi funds, appeared in court files from early last year. The letter shows Musk asking about the fund’s commitment to the deal. Mr. Al-Rumayyan responds that Tesla did not provide enough information.
“This is a very weak statement and does not reflect the conversations we had at Tesla,” Musk wrote in an August 2018 text message. You said you were definitely interested in taking Tesla private and have been since 2016. wanted to do it.”