U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

October 2015 Archives

8th Circuit to Review American Sniper 'Scruff Face' Award

Jesse Ventura's defamation suit has landed at the doorstep of the 8th Circuit. Although the final decision is potentially months away, legal scholars and big business are already at the sidelines waiting with bated breath.

The lawsuit is a direct result of an account that Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (now deceased) claimed took place in a California bar in 2006. In his book, Kyle claimed that the then anonymous "celebrity" Navy SEAL known only as "Scruff Face" spoke offensively about the SEALs and that Kyle just had to straighten him out. The stakes? Only what must be proven to support a defamation claim and the very limits of what is protected speech in America. Opinion pieces on the legal implications make for stimulating reading.

By the way, "Scruff Face" is Ventura.

When Carol O'Neal's husband died in a hunting accident, she sued his rifle's manufacturer, the Remington Arms Company. The rifle's design was defective, she alleged, causing the gun to fire when the trigger wasn't pulled.

There was one catch, though. Ms. O'Neal couldn't produce her husband's rifle or even any direct evidence of the defect. That doesn't mean her case can't go forward, however, the Eighth Circuit ruled on Wednesday.