After the plaintiff’s attorney Gregory McFarland rested in the lawsuit against Taylor Swift, her attorneys filed a motion to dismiss her from DJ David Mueller’s lawsuit. A few minutes ago, the judge ruled that Mueller didn’t prove his case well enough for a reasonable jury to find against Swift, and dropped her as a respondent:
BREAKING: Judge throws out DJ's case against Taylor Swift in groping trial, says he can't prove the pop star got him fired.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 11, 2017
On the other hand, the case against the other two respondents may go to the jury on Monday:
Judge: Both Andrea Swift and Bell acted intentionally to contact KYGO// — ((Taylor Swift didn't context KYGO directly.))
— Michael Konopasek (@MikeKonopasek) August 11, 2017
Reporting is still coming in from the courtroom, but this appears more technical than dispositive. Mueller alleged that all three acted to get him fired over false pretenses, but never established that Swift herself took any such action. In order to gain damages from Swift, Mueller had to present a preponderance of evidence that she acted to damage him financially. The judge has ruled that the plaintiffs made at least that much of a case with Swift’s mother and Frank Bell, her liaison to KYGO, but that means that the deep pockets that Mueller targeted has just left the building, so to speak.
That doesn’t mean that Swift’s out of the trial, however. The judge ruled that her countersuit against Mueller remains, and that is real trouble for the DJ. Swift’s attorneys rested without presenting a case because, well, McFarland basically proved her case in his direct examination of Swift and her team. That would essentially wipe out the other predicate for Mueller’s suit, which was that the allegations were false and made maliciously to harm Mueller, if the jury agrees with the witnesses who took the stand over the last three days. The jury doesn’t have much else to go on for Mueller other than his own word.
Basically, Mueller and McFarland look plain out of luck.
Update: More from Fox News:
The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Martinez still allows David Mueller to go forward with his lawsuit against Swift’s mother, Andrea, and Frank Bell, their point man with radio stations. A symbolic countersuit by Swift for $1 can also move forward. …
Jurors are due to return Monday to hear closing arguments regarding the remaining claims.
Martinez had sent the jurors home early Friday while attorneys on both sides argued over whether Mueller had presented enough evidence to send his full case to the jury. Those statements and the judge’s questions focused on whether Swift herself had done anything to get Mueller fired.
Worth noting: Swift is only asking for a $1 symbolic award. If the jury finds in her favor, however, they can award her any amount they like (within reason). In that case, Mueller might get stuck with Swift’s legal fees, and … those might be considerable.