Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle will be allowed to move forward.
Kyle, who is considered to be the deadliest sniper in the history of the United States, was killed earlier this year at a Texas gun range. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura urged a federal judge to allow his lawsuit to continue with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, standing in as the defendant.
Dallas News reports that Ventura argued that Kyle’s estate will continue to profit from “American Sniper” book sales and that Taya, who is the executor of Kyle’s estate, should stand in as Kyle’s replacement. Taya’s attorney told Ventura that he should drop the case because he would damage his reputation by pursuing damages against a dead war hero.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan ruled today that Ventura’s lawsuit could continue despite Kyle’s death.
Boylan wrote in his ruling that if “a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party.”
Ventura filed a defamation lawsuit against Kyle over the sniper’s book “American Sniper.” The book describes a bar fight in 2006 involving a man named “Scruff Face.” The character, who was identified as a “celebrity,” made disparaging remarks against the United States, the war in Iraq, and President George W. Bush before Kyle punched him in the face.
The Star Tribune reports that “Scruff Face” was never identified in the book but Kyle said in media interviews that he was referring to Jesse Ventura. The former Governor claims that the fight never happened.