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Thomas More Law Center Helps Widow of Chris Kyle, American Sniper, Hit with $1.8 Million Jury Verdict

A friend of the court brief supporting Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, the American Sniper, was filed yesterday afternoon in the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  In the highly controversial case, a Minnesota jury awarded former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in damages in July 2014.  The verdict included $500,000 in damages for defamation and over $1.3 million dollars in “unjust enrichment” from the proceeds of Chris Kyle’s book, American Sniper.

Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, commented on filing the brief supporting Chris Kyle’s widow:

“This is TMLC’s way of saying thank you to Taya. The Law Center, and especially our senior trial counsel Erin Mersino and her husband, Paul, worked together on the brief, not only to honor Chris Kyle’s heroic sacrifices in service to our nation, but also to honor Taya for the many hardships she had to endure while her husband was deployed defending our Nation. Too often we forget to thank the families of our deployed troops for the hardships and emotional strain they silently endure while their loved ones are deployed in harm’s way.”

The unusual case spawns from a brief passage in the book American Sniper, authored by Chris Kyle where he discusses a confrontation with Jesse Ventura in a California bar where the two men were attending a fellow Navy SEAL’s wake.  The book describes how a man (Ventura) was being loud and disrespectful at the wake, and made anti-American comments insulting the Navy SEALs, stating “You deserve to lose a few.”  Although Ventura is never mentioned by name in the book, Ventura sued Chris Kyle for defamation.  Chris Kyle was tragically murdered before the case was tried, but instead of dropping the lawsuit, Ventura went after Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya.  The Court replaced Taya Kyle as the Defendant in the case as the representative of Chris Kyle’s estate.

Although Chris Kyle could not testify in person on his own behalf due to his tragic death, when Ventura’s lawsuit went to a jury trial last year, his lawyers presented several witnesses who supported the truth of Chris Kyle’s words. The case is now on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.

The Thomas More Law Center filed a motion to be allowed to file the friend of the court brief with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 11, 2015.  Taya Kyle’s attorneys consented to the filing, while attorneys for Ventura refused to consent. Yesterday afternoon (March 17th), the Eight Circuit Court granted the motion.

While TMLC believes that the entire decision of the lower court should be reversed, its brief specifically focuses on why the $1.3 million dollar award for “unjust enrichment” must be reversed.  The brief describes why the lower court erred by allowing unjust enrichment damages in a defamation lawsuit, and that there have been no other cases in the history of our nation that have allowed such damages for a defamation claim.  Further, the brief states that “the damages award for unjust enrichment amount to an impermissible windfall for Ventura that, if permitted to stand, could create precedent that creates a chilling effect on free speech by expanding defamation damages.”

Chris Kyle is a true American hero. TMLC is proud to support Taya Kyle and to honor the memory of Chris Kyle. He is considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills.  He bravely served four tours in the Middle East, protecting our country as a Navy SEAL.  Chris Kyle left behind his wife, Taya, and their two children. Chris Kyle’s book American Sniper was adapted into the popular film released this past December and directed by Clint Eastwood. The film, which has obtained box office success, makes no mention of the confrontation with Ventura.

TMLC’s brief was written by the husband and wife team of Erin Mersino, Senior Trial Counsel at the Thomas More Law Center, and Paul Mersino, an attorney and Shareholder at the law firm of Butzel Long, P.C. in Detroit, Michigan, who worked pro bono on the brief.

Click here to read a full copy of the brief

We take aim at Nasty Nancy’s attack on Chris Kyle and Christianity

Nancy writes a typical left wing screed against American Sniper Chris Kyle and Christianity. We fire back!

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Was Chris Kyle’s killer a converted Muslim?

chris kyle with his bookThe “conventional wisdom” says former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was tragically shot and killed by a former soldier suffering from PTSD.

But perhaps there’s another version of the story no one wants to talk about. What if Routh had been converted to militant Islam in Iraq and sought Kyle out as retribution?

There are some disturbing facts about Routh you most likely will have never read.

According to The Warfighter Foundation, it is highly unlikely Routh suffered from PTSD because he never served in battle.

“Eddie Routh served one tour in Iraq in 2007, at Balad Air Base (the 2nd largest U.S. installation in Iraq), with no significant events. No combat experience. Let me say that again, he NEVER SAW COMBAT or any aspect of traumatic events associated with a combat deployment (i.e. incoming mortar or rocket fire). He never left the base, EVER.”

The Warfighter Foundation is a non-profit organization that used the Freedom of Information act to learn more about Routh’s history.

“[Routh] held a non-combat arms occupation of 2111 (Small Arms Repairer/ Technician or more commonly referred to as an Armorer),” the group reported. “Balad Air Base had a Pizza Hut, 24 hour Burger King, Subway, Popeye’s, Baskin Robbins, movie theater, and even a miniature golf course. It even had a strictly enforced 10 mile per hour speed limit!”.

While Routh never served in battle, he did work as a prison guard overseeing Muslim terrorists at Bilad Airbase. Walid Shoebat posits that Routh could have interacted with the inmates and perhaps converted to Islam.

While there is no proof of any conversion, Shoebat says “During a phone call with his father, Routh expressed sympathy for the detainees and discontent over how the US was conducting the war as well as his reluctance to engage in combat” and “While working as a guard at Balad Air Base, Routh laments his [Muslim] prisoners’ poor living conditions.”

Shoebat says, “It is a known fact that Routh’s family contacted Kyle about their son’s diminishing mental health. Routh was admitted to inpatient psychiatric treatment prior to the events at Rough Creek Ranch, according to a report from the Daily Mail.”

Shoebat says, “Routh had been taken to a mental hospital twice in the past five months and told authorities that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, police records show.”

However, just saying you have PTSD is also different than actually being diagnosed. While Routh may indeed suffered mental problems, PTSD may not have been one of them.

Nonetheless, the media will continue to focus on PTSD, which further casts doubt on our veterans and weakens our resolve for battle.

But the last thing the media would ever consider is that Routh could have been a convert to Islam. It’s an interesting and discomfiting theory.

And then there’s the matter of his beard with trimmed moustache. Of course we can’t engage in profiling, but…

EDITORS NOTE: This story was written by Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief at AllenBWest.com.